Employment & Non Discrimination Act

Legislative Factsheet

United States Student Association 2004


The Employment Non-Discrimination Act
(ENDA) prohibits workplace discrimination
on the basis of sexual orientation — a pro-
tection currently denied to lesbian, gay and
bisexual people. ENDA would affect the em-
ployment practices of all colleges across
the country.


Did you know that a person can still be fired simply
because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgen-
der? Employment decisions should be about the
work that people do, not about their sexual orienta-
tion or gender identity.

ENDA was originally introduced in 1994 and gained
momentum when the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA) was introduced in response to the
legalization of same-sex marriage in Hawaii. DOMA
denied states the right to recognize same-sex
marriages performed legally in other states. ENDA
of 1994 was misnomered as “special privileges” by
those who opposed its passage and it failed in the
Senate by one vote (49-50) on September 10, 1996
– the same day the DOMA legislation passed. ENDA
was reintroduced in 1997 and 1999, but failed to gain
enough support in Congress to be debated or

Right now organizers are trying once again to build
momentum for ENDA by trying to get more
cosponsors than ever before.

H.R. 3285 / S. 1705

Enforce & Extend federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability to also include sexual orientation.

> Prohibit public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation.

> Provide for the same procedures and similar remedies as Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

n Apply to Congress and presidential employees.


n Cover small businesses with less than 15 employees
n Cover religious organizations
n Apply to the armed forces
n Include gender identity and expression.

It is beleived that in its current language ENDA does not extend protections to
transgender people. At this time over 21 national organizations and dozens of
local organizations have stated that they support the inclusion of the
transgender community in ENDA.