On November 7, 2013, the United States Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)—proposed legislation that would extend federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA, which is closely modeled on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the American with Disabilities Act, prohibits certain private and public employers from using an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion, or compensation. While some states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual identity and/or gender identity, this vital piece of federal legislation will provide consistent protection for the LGBT community. All eyes are now on the House of Representatives to see if ENDA will make it to the floor to be put to a vote.
Chaired by Partner Brett J. Schneider, WSH’s Labor and Employment Law Group regularly defends employers against claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Florida Civil Rights Act, the Florida Whistleblower’s Act, and similar Federal, State and local laws. The Group defends lawsuits in Federal and State courts across Florida, including class actions and multi-plaintiff cases. The Group also regularly defends employers against discrimination charges brought before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Florida Commission on Human Relations and similar local agencies. Our attorneys also handle arbitrations and civil service board and other administrative hearings for our public sector clients. The Group works with our Litigation Division to put each client in the best leveraged position at every phase of employment and labor litigation to make the best decision whether to settle or to try the case.
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider