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California to increase protections against discrimination

Discrimination for any reason is unacceptable, especially in the workplace. If someone is doing their job properly, then why should they be treated differently to someone else working at the same standard? Sadly, many employees suffer from workplace discrimination every day, being made to feel uncomfortable or even threatened because of their race, gender, disability, age or even sexual orientation.

In California, there are already a number of laws protecting workers from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. However, President Obama is also set to create a further executive order on a federal level, prohibiting discrimination of this nature when contractors trade with the government. Federal employees already benefit from such protection. Nevertheless, the additional protection of an executive order would be a welcome reassurance that discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated.

According to a 2013 survey, 21 percent of people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender felt they had suffered discrimination at the hands of an employer. They further reported that they felt this treatment stemmed from their gender identity or sexual identity. If the proposed executive order goes through, hopefully it will greatly reduce this figure for future generations of workers.

With an executive order in place, contractors will be forced to treat workers fairly or risk losing out on valuable federal contracts. There is a long way to go still, but hopefully this is a step in the right direction. In the meantime, however, discrimination still should not be tolerated. If you or a colleague are being treated unfairly at work, it is important to take a stand.

By challenging those responsible, discriminatory individuals can be dealt with before they can harm anyone else. An attorney may be able to advise you on your options and help you pursue a favorable resolution to the situation.

Source: The Sun, "Executive order could bolster California LGBT worker protections," Brenda Gazzar, June 21, 2014

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