Chairman George Miller of the House Education and Labor Committee temporarily postponed Wednesday’s mark up on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in order to finalize some legal and technical issues with the bill. A new date will be set after the Thanksgiving recess.
Attorneys and advocates from NCTE and other the LGBT organizations have been working closely with committee staff on the legal aspects of the bill; in fact, we’re talking with them daily. There are still a few technicalities that do need to be finalized before a successful mark up can be held. Those supporting the bill, including Chairman Miller, want to ensure that, once passed, ENDA will absolutely stand up in a court of law, and be as airtight as possible, so that even conservative anti-LGBT judges won’t find it easy to whittle away at ENDA.
Some of the questions that are being discussed are:
- Double recovery, so people cannot recover damages under two different provisions of federal law at the same time, which is never allowed;
- Attorneys fees;
- Disparate impact (You can read more about the legalese of disparate impact in Harper Jean’s September blog entry: The Disparate Impact Non-Issue.)
Welcome to the world of Congressional scheduling. The flexibility to deal with scheduling issues like this is part of our work as is making sure that this is the best possible bill to protect LGBT people. Stay tuned for the new date for committee mark up.
We need to keep up the great work calling members of Congress. Wednesday is our national call-in day, so call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak to your Representative (have your zip code handy and they’ll help identify your member of the U.S. House).
When you are connected with your Representative’s office, give your name and your city and then let them know: “I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H. R. 3017/S. 1584), which will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. No one deserves to be fired from their job because of who they are. Please vote yes for ENDA.”