Does federal law prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, transgender status or sexual orientation?

Author: Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor

No. Federal law does not currently provide legal protection based on gender identity, gender expression, transgender status or sexual orientation. However, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act currently in Congress (H.R. 1397 and S. 811) would protect private and public employees from employment discrimination on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, many state and municipal laws prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and transgender status. An employer should be sure to consult the laws that apply in the jurisdiction where it is located and conducts business.