Pocan Applauds Bipartisan Senate Committee Vote on ENDA
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today applauded the bipartisan 15-7 vote of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) today. ENDA has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a priority for Pocan and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.
Despite significant progress for LGBT people and families in recent years there is still no explicit federal law that protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination; ENDA would extend federal employment discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently only 17 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, while an additional four prohibit employment discrimination based only on sexual orientation. As a result, LGBT people face serious discrimination in employment, including being fired, being denied a promotion and experiencing harassment on the job.
“As we have already seen this summer, the momentum toward full equality for all citizens is at full steam, and the Senate HELP committee’s bipartisan passage of ENDA only furthers this progress,” said Pocan. “No one should ever face discrimination in the workplace because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and this commonsense legislation will ensure all of our workers, no matter the state where they reside or who they choose to love, can feel safe in the work environment.”