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About 9 million Americans, roughly the population of New Jersey, identify themselves as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). That number is low as it only reflects those who choose to identify themselves under the labels of L, G, B or T; the real numbers are far higher. Moreover a lot of individuals have dated or been involved with others of the same sex. Despite the power and presence of this substantial group of Americans, issues founded in religion, biology and politics continue to generate debate over the inclusion of LGBT individuals both at home, by way of marriage and childbearing, and in the workplace. After decades of ad hoc action and Band-Aid type legislation by Federal and state governments, solid positions have developed regarding the rights of LGBT workers to be free of discrimination and retaliation. The EEOC has finally acted, and it now recognizes LGBTQIA rights under Title VII non-discrimination rules. LGBT issues also may be impacted by the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
All employers need to understand the most recent legal and administrative developments that have now extended Title VII protections to these employees by creating a new protected class. In addition, employers must know the current status of these workers under relevant state and local laws. It is also critical to understand that all LGBT employees should not be deemed to have the same set of workplace needs. Those needs differ enormously, as do the protections and other workplace issues affecting them. Join employment attorney Deirdre Kamber Todd as she guides you through the thicket of laws and regulations that affect your relationship as employers with LGBTQIA workers.
Deirdre Kamber Todd, Esq., is a partner with The Kamber Law Group, P.C., a next-generation law firm located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. With fifteen years of experience, Deirdre focuses her practice on labor and employment law, social media and technology law, HIPAA, and business law. Specific areas of her employment law practice include discrimination, wage and hour, restrictive covenants, business contracts, unemployment compensation, LGBT issues, labor disputes, FMLA, military leave, social media litigation, information privacy and technology, agency compliance, and medical record privacy.
Her clients include companies, non-profits, governmental entities, and individuals. Her work includes consultative and legal services, from outsourced HR and social media services to hearings, litigation, and appellate work. She also regularly provides training and education for companies and individuals. She is licensed to practice in New York, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Supreme Court, and she also has been admitted as an expert witness in social media and networking.
Deirdre is the recipient of a number of awards and recognitions: she was selected as one of the “Top 20 Under 40” by the Pennsylvania Business Journal, she received the Ethics Award from the New York State Bar Association, she received a grant from the Public Justice Foundation for her pro bono work on HIV/AIDS, and she was recently nominated as one of the top twenty-five women of influence in the Lehigh Valley.
Aside from the practice of law, she serves as the President and Diversity Chair for Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Lehigh Valley. She currently teaches as an adjunct professor at DeSales University in the MBA Program in both the HR and Healthcare Concentrations. She has earned her Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law, a distinguished master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Limerick, in Limerick, Ireland, and a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.