senate.bmpBy Laura Maechtlen, Camille Olson, and Annette Tyman 

On June 12, 2012, Seyfarth Shaw presented testimony before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2011 (ENDA).  The proposed legislation would protect private and public employees from employment discrimination on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity.

The testimony of Camille Olson, Chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s Complex Discrimination Litigation Practice Group, identifies ambiguities in the current language of ENDA, and requests further clarification from Congress to address those uncertainties to ensure that employers and employees understand their rights and obligations under ENDA.  

Specifically, the testimony identified and requested clarification concerning the following ambiguities in the language of ENDA as currently drafted:

  • Whether Title VII and ENDA will provide duplicate causes of action for sex stereotyping;
  • The definition and scope of coverage of disparate impact claims under ENDA to ensure that Congressional intent concerning non-coverage of such claims is clear;
  • Whether ENDA was intended to or should provide more robust remedies for attorneys’ fees than those available under Title VII;
  • Determining what triggers an employer’s affirmative obligations with regard to shared facilities and application of its dressing and grooming standards;
  • Whether “certain shared facilities” include restrooms; and
  • Whether employers are required to modify existing facilities.

To access a transcript of the complete testimony, click here