Protections for All Workers
Equality Arizona is working to ensure the LGBTQ workers are protected from discrimination, abuse, and mistreatment. Protections for workers include laws, policies, and collective power addressing equal employment opportunities, benefits, non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and many other areas that, due to the patchwork of state and local laws, leave LGBTQ employees, and many others, unprotected.
Right-to-Work and At-Will Employment
Right-to-work laws endanger all workers. They create naturally unfair conditions for all working people. This includes LGBTQ workers. While specific non-discrimination policies are helpful, they are also largely symbolic and without power in right-to-work states.
Right-to-Work and At-Will Employment are frequently used to terminate a workers employment without any cause. Even if a non-discrimination law existed that was LGBTQ inclusive, LGBTQ workers could still be terminated without reason or cause.
Non-Discrimination Policies and Laws
It is legal in Arizona to fire a worker based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ workers need the basic protections that all workers deserve. No one should be fired or penalized at work for living their authentic lives. For LGBTQ people who are also immigrants, who are people of color, who are veterans, and who have disabilities the fear of being discriminated against at work can be even greater. While non-discrimination policies are a positive start, they are not enough. We must hold all employers, regardless or sector or size, accountable and insist that they practice equitable hiring, firing, disciplinary, and business practices.
In 2013, the U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act with bipartisan support, but the legislation still needs to pass the U.S. House of Representatives. Passing ENDA would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with at least 15 employees. Equality Arizona is doing work to build awareness about ENDA so that citizens of Arizona will be protected from discrimination.
We also believe that the Equal rights Amendment (ERA) that would guarantee equal citizenship for women in the Constitution and other similar initiatives are necessary to fully protect all working people.
By working to protect all working people, we work to fully protect LGBTQ workers of every race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, age, and of all life experience.