by George Miller
On September 23, 2009, the House Labor Committee opened hearings on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (H.R. 3017), otherwise referred to as ENDA. ENDA is sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D – MA) and has been introduced in previous sessions of Congress. ENDA would prohibit employment discrimination, preferential treatment, and retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with fifteen or more employees. Currently some, but not all, states prohibit discrimination on the basis of either sexual orientation or gender identity, and many municipalities have ordinances prohibiting such discrimination. But if passed, ENDA would apply to all employers with fifteen or more employees everywhere in the country, except religious institutions that are exempt from coverage by equal employment laws. At the opening hearing on September 23rd, testimony was taken from a number of witnesses, including Rep.Frank. A video of his and other witnesses’ testimony, and the entire proceedings, can be found at http://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/labor/worker-rights/.