Does Title VII or any state or federal law prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation for an employer in Utah?
At this time there isn’t a federal that specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. This may change in the near future, as the U.S. House recently passed a bill that would make discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. Some cities and states have such laws, but Utah does not.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII to which you referred, makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone in the workplace because of their color, race, religion, sex, or country of origin. Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibit discrimination against persons with a disability. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1973 protects persons from discrimination due to age. Other federal laws protect workers: the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Sections 501 and 505) and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
These federal laws all come under the jurisdiction of the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Though no federal law exists, several states, municipalities, businesses and non-profit agencies have established rules against sexual orientation discrimination. According to the majority of Human Resource professionals, practicing this type of discrimination is bad policy.
To protect federal employees the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 was put into practice. Under this act, a civilian federal employee can not be discriminated against in the workplace due to color, race, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status or political affiliation. Further the law includes a clause regarding discrimination against non job-performance related behavior, which the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has interpreted to include sexual orientation.
Civilian federal employees, therefore, are protected from discrimination due to sexual orientation under this act, but only civilian federal employees.
Employers in non-profit agencies and businesses that contract with the federal government must work to eliminate and prevent sexual orientation discrimination throughout their companies and agencies. The Executive Order 13087, signed
May 28, 1998, continues the affirmative action campaign to thwart all types of discrimination. JH
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