Inside Business Staff Blogsby Lydia Wheeler
The Senate bill protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state employees from discrimination in the workplace was killed in subcommittee earlier this month.
In Virginia it is currently legal to fire or not hire someone based on perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Seante Bill 701 was trying to change that for state workers. Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, and Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria introduced the bill to the 2013 General Assembly and it passed with a 24-16 vote last month in the Senate. The House General Laws Professions/Occupations and Administrative Process Subcommittee tabled bill for remainder of the session. Had it passed, the bill would have extended protections for sexual orientation, as well as gender identity and expression in the state code.
“State employees must now go another year without workplace protections,” Executive Director of Equality Virginia James Parrish wrote in a prepared statement. “It’s downright disrespectful that this subcommittee did not listen to the thousands of Virginians that messaged their delegates and senators over the past two months in support of protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state employees.”