Obama’s Executive Order Will Protect 34 Million People

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Dwayne Wade signed with the Miami Heat for $34 million, according to the Palm Beach Post. As of 2012, there are 35.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS (according to the World Health Organization). And now, Obama’s Monday executive order will be protecting 34 million federal contractor employees.

The executive order, offering work-related discrimination protection to LGB (and notably T) workers, will not offer any kind of religious exemption, according to the Washington Post. The order will protect “approximately 22 percent of civilian workers in the U.S., this according to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, a think-tank “dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.”

“The executive order will reach workers not protected by the patchwork of existing state-level nondiscrimination policies,” said Williams Institute Executive Director Brad Sears. “Less than half of the states prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, leaving a majority of American workers without protections.”

It’s important to keep in mind that “an estimated 11 million more workers will be protected from sexual orientation discrimination when taking into account those already protected by state law or employer policy. An additional 14 million workers will be protected from gender identity discrimination.” The Williams numbers take into account recent policy changes across the country:

As of May 2014:

  • 86 percent of the top 50 federal contractors prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • 61 percent prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.
  • All but two of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation (96 percent) as of May 2014, and 70 percent prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.

To put things in perspective, the Williams Institute created an infographic recently to qualify workplace discrimination against LGBT workers. You can see the infographic here.

For more information on the Williams Institute and its research, go to williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu.


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