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Head of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: LGBTs file discrimination complaints now

Dr. Scout at the Network for LGBT Health Equity at The Fenway Institute recently interviewed Chai Feldblum, head of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), at the White House Pride Reception. They discussed employment discrimination and what LGBTs can do about it at the current time, since it’s perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay.

It’s noteworthy that the EEOC announced this year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covered transgender people; however, this could be overturned. There will only be a permanent legal solution to employment discrimination when Congress passes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and that won’t occur any time soon.

However, as you will see, Feldblum encouraged all LGBT people to file complaints if they experience employment discrimination; the Commission’s field staff has been trained on how to handle the recent ruling and spread the word to companies as well. Documentation of discrimination helps build the case for passing ENDA.

Of course the President could help a lot of taxpaying LGBTs out by signing an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTs while the work is done to pass ENDA.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding