The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 1397 / S. 811
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak to your Representative (have your zip code handy and they'll help identify your member of Congress).
When you are connected with your Representative's office, give your name and your city and then let them know:
I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H. R. 1397/S. 811), which will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. No one deserves to be fired from their job because of who they are. Please vote yes for ENDA.
If you get voicemail instead of a person, feel free to leave a message-the messages are listened to and count just as much as if you reach a staff member. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you've called in the past, no problem ... call again or write or visit.
For extra credit, when you are done, hang up and call the Capitol Switchboard again, let the operator know what state you are calling from, and they will connect you with your Senators.
And please, forward this message to your friends, family members and allies. Spread the word by calling your friends and on Twitter and Facebook.
Sign the joint NCTE/Transgender Law Center ENDA petition
- Write letters to your members of Congress using our online tool. Easy and fast and you can personalize it
- Tell us your stories of discrimination and help us build a case with members of Congress why we need ENDA
- Meet with your members of Congress; how to details in the ENDA Toolkit
- Follow us on Twitter or as a fan on Facebook or read our blog; we'll keep you up to date on what is happening
- Support our work and make a donation to NCTE. So many of us are already stretched for time. If you can't squeeze one more activity into your busy schedule, please donate to NCTE so we can keep working to build a powerful network of members and allies all over the country.
Trans people, our families, friends and allies around the country have been active visiting, calling and writing their members of Congress. There is something everyone can do, whether large or small. Each efforts helps.
Take a moment and think about the trans people you know who struggle to find or keep a job. People call almost every day to our offices with stories of outright discrimination or simply being overlooked for positions time and time again. Unemployment is an ongoing crisis for trans people, both individually and for us as a community. Passing ENDA won't fix all of that at once, but it is a critical step in giving us the tools to stand up to discrimination in the workplace. Please join us by taking action on this bill.It is time to pass ENDA!
Learn More About ENDA:
A Message from Mara Keisling
I have no doubt we can pass a transgender-inclusive ENDA this year if we all do the work now to educate Congress and the public.
Day after day, we hear from transgender people who have lost their jobs for no other reason than plain and simple discrimination. This includes people who have had long and distinguished careers who, after they transition, suddenly find themselves unable to find meaningful work and young transgender people who are unable to get their first job. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act will be an important step in helping these folks get to work. When asked, Americans are consistently clear on the fact that we believe that people should be judged at work for the quality of their work, not on unrelated factors. This bill would bring the law into line with what Americans already know—prejudice has no place in the American workplace
The best work we can be doing now to get us in position for winning our rights in 2009 is the work of building relationships and educating all of our lawmakers - whoever they are, where ever they are.
When I'm visiting lawmakers on Capitol Hill one thing I hear far too often is that lawmakers don't think they have transgender people in their districts. You and I know that is impossible - we are everywhere. I can visit your representatives everyday up on the Hill, but they really need to hear from you and to meet you face to face. It does make a difference!
What is ENDA?
Key features of the bill include:
- This legislation would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee simply based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. It would reinforce the principle that employment decisions should be based upon a person’s qualifications and job performance.
- ENDA closely follows the model of existing federal civil rights laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are treated in the same way as other groups protected under law – no better, no worse.
Who supports equal employment:
- Most of America’s smartest business minds understand that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity has nothing to do with their job performance. That is why 200 Fortune 500 companies include gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies.
- Federal law has also been outpaced by the actions of state and local leaders. Thirty-seven percent of the country, including thirteen states, the District of Columbia and more than 90 cities and counties, have passed protections for the transgender community.
Why ENDA Must Contain Explicit Protections for Gender Identity
- ENDA should protect the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community from unequal treatment in the workplace, especially those of us who are most vulnerable to discrimination.
- The LGBT community is one community, and we want to move forward, together, in one bill.
- Including explicit protections against discrimination based on gender identity not only helps transgender people; it also strengthens ENDA for the rest of our community by ensuring that an employer cannot fire or refuse to hire a gay employee for an “effeminate” walk or a lesbian employee for dressing “too butch.”
- Despite advances in protecting transgender people on the state and local level, as well as in the private sector, it remains perfectly legal in 37 states to fire someone solely based on his or her gender identity.
- Recent national surveys have found that 65% of people believe it should be illegal to discriminate against transgender people in employment.