Our hearts are with the families of those who lost their lives or who were injured in the horrific attack in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub on Latin Night. This senseless tragedy is an assault on all of us as Americans and on our national values of freedom and equality, for which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission fights every day. We stand with the LGBT community, the Latino community, and all the people of Orlando as we unwaveringly continue our work to overcome hatred and intolerance.
During this month of LGBT Pride, we reflect both on our nation’s progress in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and on how much more must be done. The harsh reality is that many of our neighbors, friends, sons, and daughters who are LGBT still face hatred and discrimination simply because of who they are and whom they love. This is a reality that must be changed.
For years, the EEOC has played a leading role in advancing the legal rights of LGBT people in the workplace. Information on our efforts, and the employment protections available under federal law for LGBT-related discrimination, can be found in our What You Should Know About the EEOC and Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers.
We also must ensure that the horror of what occurred does not lead to discrimination or backlash against individuals simply because of their religion, ethnicity, or country of origin. Everyone deserves to be treated with equality, dignity, and respect. Through our work, we have seen ignorance and fear lead to discrimination against individuals who are Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South-Asian, and people perceived to be members of these communities. We remain steadfast in our commitment to prevent discrimination against these communities, and encourage employees and employers to consult our resources about addressing backlash discrimination in the workplace against the Muslim community, which may be particularly salient during this month of Ramadan.
As we grieve, let us work together to ensure that every person – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, regardless of religion or nationality or any other basis – is treated with fairness and dignity.