On July 12, 2016, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform plans to meet to discuss a potentially upcoming bill that would allow businesses, non-profits, governments and other entities to deny services to an LGBT person if it conflicts with their religious belief. This proposed law is the latest in a series of bills, some passed some rejected, that curtail the rights of LGBT individuals. It appears that the bill will likely pass committee but it is unclear if it will pass a general vote by the entire House.
The Bill would essentially allow any entity that received federal funding to ignore laws that conflict with their religious beliefs regarding marriage. A government contract could fire an employee for being in a same-sex marriage. It may even allow federal employees to refuse to provide government services, like Social Security and Veteran’s benefits, to a surviving member of a same-sex couple if to do so would violate his or her religious beliefs.
Unfortunately, the language of the bill, as it currently stands, may even allow people to discriminate based upon familial status. For example, an employee may refuse to provide services to an unmarried couple living together. It could entail someone refusing to provide services to the child of an unmarried couple. The lack of clarification and limiting language could have a number of unintended consequences.
If you believe that your employer discrimination against you then you may want to speak to an attorney. Employment discrimination issues can be resolved in a variety of ways including informal negotiation, arbitration, an investigation by a state or federal government, and with a lawsuit. An attorney can review each strategy with you and advise you regarding the pros and cons of each method. Don’t sacrifice your rights because someone tried to intimidate you. You have the right to work just like every other American.