Vice-President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to pass a measure to outlaw workplace discrimination against gays, saying it’s outrageous that the country is even debating the subject. He said it was time for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA.
Speaking to supporters of the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign in Los Angeles, Biden said it’s “close to barbaric” that in some states, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, employees are fired.
Unfortunately, Biden is half a century too late with his call.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Furthermore the Equal Pay Act of 1963 protects both men and women who do substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.
Under these laws discrimination also includes harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, or age, retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices. The law even goes as far as banning employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities, or based on myths or assumptions about an individual’s genetic information.
The fifty year old law also forbids denying employment opportunities to anyone because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also covers sexual harassment like direct requests for sexual favors to conditions that create a hostile work environment for persons of either gender, including same-sex harassment and pregnancy-based discrimination that covers pregnancy, childbirth, and other related medical conditions.
Laws we have — more we don’t need.
So, Mr. Vice-President Biden, please stop wasting the U.S.’s time and start working on something important like eliminating government-approved NSA spying on its citizens, the IRS’s targeting of groups, both political and religious and finally, what really happened to cause four good men to lose their lives in Benghazi.