Monday, November 11, 2013
Liberty and justice for all?
Originally posted at dpsst25.
At the end of a recent blog post I briefly mentioned ENDA, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which is making it's way through the US Senate. As the title of the bill suggests, the law prohibits workplace discrimination because of factors such as gender-identity and sexual orientation.
While the bill is going to pass the Senate and the President is ready to sign it, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, released a statement through a spokesperson last week declaring that he "believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs." Later his office added that Boehner believes the bill is unnecessary because such workplaces protections are already protected under existing law.
The claim that federal law already guarantees such protections is not tenable, and most states don't have such explicit protections. If such legal protections already existed, then the possibility of lawsuits for unfair labor practices based on gender and sexual orientation would also exist. So the two statements eat each other.
But let's get back to the initial press release. There are two important things that are being explicitly said.