Repost from Center for American Progress
By Lee Badgett, Crosby Burns, Nan D. Hunter, Jeff Krehely, Christy Mallory, and Brad Sears
Under federal law it is entirely legal to fire someone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. While many states, municipalities, and corporations have instituted policies that shield LGBT workers from workplace bias, LGBT individuals currently lack adequate legal protections from employment discrimination.
In fact, a majority of workers currently live in states that have not passed laws giving LGBT workers legal protections from workplace discrimination. Only 45 percent of American workers live in a jurisdiction where they are covered by a nondiscrimination policy based on sexual orientation. Only 34 percent of workers live in a jurisdiction where they are covered by a nondiscrimination policy based on gender identity.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would bring uniform protections to all American workers under federal law. Short of such a law, however, President Obama has the authority to extend significant protections to the LGBT workforce. Executive action from the president would give real, meaningful, and immediate legal protections to LGBT workers—protections that could mean the difference between being employed and unemployed.