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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 is a partner with the Kamber Law Group, P.C, and a next-generation law-firm located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Ms. Todd has been practicing business law, employment law, wills, trusts, and estates, and HIPAA for more than 15 years, and social media law for nearly 10 years. She holds post-graduate certifications in HIPAA privacy, mediation, and social media.
Ms. Kamber Todd has been published in a variety of sources and has received several accolades for her work. She has published and contributed to numerous articles and books, including HIV and the AIDS Pandemic, published by Oxford Press, HR Keystones, Diversity Inc., Wikipedia, SHRM, NPR, Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek, and Business Matters. She was awarded as one of the “Top Twenty under Forty” by the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal; she received a Public Justice Foundation grant for her work on HIV/AIDS litigation with Harvard University; she also received an Ethics Award from the New York State Bar Association.