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US House passes bill protecting gay workers from discrimination

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 235-184 [roll call] in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act [HR 3685 materials], legislation that would extend protections against workplace discrimination to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. The bill covers hiring and firing practices, the setting of compensation levels, and promotion determinations, and makes it illegal for employers to consider an employee's sexual orientation when making decisions in the workplace. The legislation must still be considered by the Senate and several senators said Wednesday that they would introduce a similar bill in the Senate.

The bill was approved in committee [JURIST report] last month, though it prompted criticism from rights groups [ACLU press release] who urged the inclusion of transgendered individuals among the protected classes. Currently less than half of US states specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation [JURIST news archive], and only half of these laws include protection for transgender individuals. The New York Times has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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