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The Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Its Scope, History, and Prospects

Goldberg, Suzanne B.; Hittson, Terra; Hu, Kevin; Duffy, Christine Michelle

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a proposed federal bill that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment based on an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by civilian, nonreligious employers who employ at least 15 employees. Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their congressional allies have fought for the passage of some form of ENDA for more than four decades, including the 113th Congress, which commenced in January 2013.

Although ENDA’s passage is still far from certain, this chapter will discuss in greater detail the impact ENDA would have on both employers and their employees if—and perhaps when—it becomes law.
• The chapter begins by analyzing the specific terms of the bill, with a particular focus on the employers ENDA covers, what exactly is prohibited, and what exemptions exist.
• The chapter next provides a brief legislative history of ENDA, including a summary of congressional hearings, to give the reader a sense of how the legislation has evolved and been shaped by the political process. As of April 30, 2014, Congress had held 11 hearings and issued three reports regarding ENDA. The full Senate had voted twice on ENDA, and the full House of Representatives had voted once on the legislation.
• Finally, the chapter examines the past and present controversies and challenges facing ENDA, as a means of providing insight into ENDA’s prospects for passage and potential changes in future drafts of the bill. Given that ENDA’s history has roots going back 40 years, this chapter can provide only a broad overview of its history, but through this history, it also aims to offer enough details to provide insight into its future.


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Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: A Practical Guide
Bloomberg BNA

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March 9, 2020