Wisconsin readers may be interested in a new executive order that President Barack Obama is planning to sign. Once signed, the order will ban federal contractors from discriminating against individuals based on their gender identity and sexual orientation.
The executive order will be limited in scope, protecting only those who work for federal contractors. However, the Human Rights Campaign says that it would offer protection to millions of workers. A spokesperson for HRC says that the order will cause companies to change their policies. Many of these companies have ignored workplace discrimination in the past. For instance, shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corporation have voted against an anti-discrimination policy for LGBT employees 17 times. The new order will require some companies to extend such protections to its LGBT workers.
In addition to legislation, lawsuits brought by employees who have suffered from workplace harassment can raise public awareness of discrimination and put pressure on companies to provide better protections for their workers. A lawyer with a background in workplace discrimination may help a plaintiff prepare for such an action. Many employers are wary of the publicity that may result from a trial and are willing to negotiate for a settlement to keep the case out of court. A lawyer may be able to negotiate for a generous settlement on behalf of a plaintiff.
Source: Wisconsin Gazette, "Obama to sign order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people", June 16, 2014