Friday, December 13, 2013

Chai Feldblum, "Mother of ENDA," Confirmed to 2nd EEOC Term

Good news! Chai Feldblum, a commissioner on the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has been confirmed by a vote of 54-41 to a second term. Feldblum herself tweeted the news yesterday:

Feldblum is widely known as the "mother of ENDA," and also as the longtime partner (and wife?) of Nan Hunter, a well-respected Professor of Law at Georgetown who is an expert on LGBT jurisprudence.

In her first term on the EEOC, Feldblum was instrumental in the EEOC's unanimous Macy v. Holder ruling that interprets the prohibition against workplace discrimination found in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include transgender individuals. This means that just like employment discrimination based on race is prohibited nationwide, employment discrimination against transgender people is also illegal.

This is somewhat surprising since there is no federal law that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in employment, which is precisely what ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) is intended to do. ENDA passed the United States Senate for the first time earlier this year but is now pending in the U.S. House, where Republicans are not expected to bring it to a vote.

Hat/tip to Karen Ocamb

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