This week, the U.S. Senate signalled that it was prepared to vote to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Passage of this bill would mean a major hurdle was defeated toward the act becoming law. However, the House has indicated that the bill would not be brought up for debate or a vote.
Twenty-one states currently provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, but only 17 of those states also include gender identity. West Virginia currently does not have any state laws protecting individuals against harassment in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Therefore, this federal law could make a large impact on the lives of workers in West Virginia.
If someone feels that they have been discriminated against in their West Virginia workplace, they might be wise to speak with an experienced employment law attorney. An attorney can help a person understand their rights and work to protect them from further discrimination.
Sometimes an employment discrimination complaint or lawsuit can help a person seek compensation if they were forced to leave a job or were fired because of discrimination. It can also help change policies in the workplace to ensure that similar discriminatory actions aren't taken against other employees in the future.
It is important that people feel safe in their workplace, enabling them to make positive contributions to their career. When a person experiences discrimination, they might feel isolated and unsure of where to turn for help. An attorney can help a person understand their rights and protect them from further discrimination.
Source: The Washington Post, "Forget Congress: 21 states already protect gays in the workplace," Niraj Chokshi, Nov. 5, 2013