EEOC announced that it has filed a lawsuit against a Charlotte
security-services company on behalf of a group of male employees who claim that
their same-sex captain and lieutenant sexually harassment them.
This news comes on the heels of President Obama's
Inaugural Address, which The New Yorker calls, "America's most important gay
rights speech." It was not only what the President said, but also the context
in which he said it-on Martin Luther King Day, as part of a larger discussion
about the civil rights movement.
are the President's remarks, courtesy of ABC News:
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We, the people, declare today that the most evident of
truths-that all of us are created equal-is the star that guides us still; just
as it guided our forebears through Seneca
Falls, and Selma,
It is now our generation's task to carry on what those
pioneers began.... Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters
are treated like anyone else under the law-for if we are truly created equal,
then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
What does this mean for you, as an employer? It means
that President Obama's second term will likely be the point in history when
sexual orientation achieves equality. It means that sometime between now and
2016, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) will become the
law of the land, amending Title VII to include sexual orientation and gender
identity as protected employment classes on par with race, sex, religion,
national origin, disability, and age. It's about time.
The time is coming when LGBT discrimination will no
longer be acceptable. As an employer, you can get ahead of this issue.
According to the Human Right Campaign, 88 percent of the Fortune 500 has
non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 57 percent
include gender identity. ENDA or not, we should be at 100 percent. It's
appalling that 13 years into the twenty-first century, it is still legal in the
United States of America to treat people differently solely because of their
inclusion in a marginalized group. Get on the bandwagon now, and send a signal
to all of your employees that you are a business of inclusion, not one of
bigotry and exclusion.
Visit the Ohio Employer's Law Blog for more
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with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a
partner in our Labor
& Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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