federal law

Does Saks Have the Legal Right to Fire a Transgender Employee?

Does Saks Have the Legal Right to Fire a Transgender Employee?

A former employee of Saks & Co. is taking the luxury retail store to court in Texas, claiming that she was discriminated against for being transgender.

Leyth Jamal says she was belittled by coworkers, forced to use the men’s room and repeatedly referred to by male pronouns (he and him) before ultimately being fired. The company responded in late December with a motion for the federal court to dismiss the case. In it, Saks’ lawyers don’t spend much time on any specific claims about mistreatment, instead arguing that transgender people simply aren’t protected by federal non-discrimination laws. Read more »

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Beyond marriage, challenges ahead for gay rights groups

Beyond marriage, challenges ahead for gay rights groups

Even as same-sex marriage edges closer to becoming legal nationwide, gay rights advocates face other challenges in 2015 that may not bring quick victories.

In Congress, for example, liberal Democrats plan to introduce civil rights bills in the House and Senate that would outlaw a broad range of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. However, Republicans will control both chambers in the new Congress, and there is no sign that GOP leaders will help the bills advance. Read more »

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What If: Lawmakers pass another SB 1062?

What If: Lawmakers pass another SB 1062?

What If: Two lawmakers weigh the pros and cons of another religious-liberty bill.

Speculation abounds that lawmakers will try to pass another bill like Senate Bill 1062, described by supporters as religious-liberty measure and by opponents as a denial of service to gays.

We asked two experts: What would happen if the Legislature passes another SB 1062?

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WE'D PROTECT RIGHTS

It's not hard to imagine what Arizona would look like if SB 1062 had been signed into law earlier this year, or if it were to ever come up again: It would look very similar to how Arizona — and the nation — look today. Read more »

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More gay people can now get legally married. They can still be legally fired.

More gay people can now get legally married. They can still be legally fired.

With the Supreme Court’s refusal earlier Monday to hear a series of cases on same-sex marriage, the movement for LGBT rights in the United States has taken a completely unexpected turn: Gay people can now get legally married in more states than where they are legally protected from job discrimination.  As this map shows, there are now five states — Indiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia — where gay people can get legally married and where it is perfectly legal for an employer to fire someone for being gay. Read more »

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The Top Five Myths About LGBT Non-Discrimination Laws Debunked

The Top Five Myths About LGBT Non-Discrimination Laws Debunked

Conservatives routinely attack LGBT non-discrimination laws as unnecessary, burdensome and threatening to religious liberty. But in state after state and city after city, their horror stories haven’t come true.

Federal law still doesn’t prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in private employment, housing, or public accommodations, despite widespread public support for such protections. Read more »

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Are Corporations The New LGBT Advocates?

Are Corporations The New LGBT Advocates?

We’re at 19 states and counting when it comes to same-sex marriage, which is great. But most people don’t realize there are still 32 states where you can be fired just for being LGBT.

President Obama’s executive order is only for federal contractors and the proposed national law (ENDA) is flawed and stalled in congress.

The next frontier for LGBT rights is in the workplace with corporations leading the way where state and federal law falls short.

Finding equality in the workplace is an issue many LGBT people struggle with every day. Read more »

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Phoenix's once controversial anti-bias law has little impact

Phoenix's once controversial anti-bias law has little impact

Few Phoenix City Council meetings have matched the drama and vitriol that filled the Orpheum Theatre more than a year ago as leaders approved an anti-discrimination ordinance with broad civil-rights protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents.

At the time, opponents and supporters of the law spoke at length about its potentially sweeping consequences. There were yelling and tears, and the ideological divide grew even wider.

Conservative groups and religious traditionalists raised fears that the measure could lead to a tsunami of lawsuits against small businesses or allow predatory men to enter women's bathrooms under the guise that they are transgender. Read more »

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Poll: Only 13% of Americans know gays do not have federal discrimination protections

A large majority of Americans are currently unaware that gay and lesbian people are not protected against discrimination under the workplace, a poll has found.

YouGov and the Huffington Post conducted a survey which found that a majority of Americans are unaware gays and lesbians are not protected under federal from discrimination.

69% believed it was illegal to fire someone for being gay or lesbian under federal law, 18% were unsure. Just 13% of those surveyed knew gays and lesbians do not have federally protected job security. Read more »

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New Report Documents Unfair Treatment on the Job for LGBT Workers

New Report Documents Unfair Treatment on the Job for LGBT Workers

Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans support workplace nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals, there is no federal law mandating these protections and less than half of states ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

A Broken Bargain: Unchecked Discrimination Against LGBT Workers is a new report which documents the struggles that LGBT workers continue to face on the job. There is still a hiring bias that makes it more difficult for LGBT workers to secure good jobs and they also disproportionately experience unfair firing and on-the-job inequality. Additionally, severe wage disparities and penalties exist making it harder for LGBT workers to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Read more »

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Miss. lawmakers pass religious-practices bill

Miss. lawmakers pass religious-practices bill

 A bill that opponents say would legalize discrimination in Mississippi was approved by the state Legislature on Tuesday and now awaits action by the governor.

The measure, titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was approved 79-43 in the House and 37-14 in the Senate.

It's the third iteration of the bill, which started out similar to an Arizona proposal that was dubbed the "turn away the gays" bill because opponents said it would allow business owners to refuse service to gay couples or interracial couples on religious grounds. The Arizona bill was vetoed by the state's governor in February. Read more »

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