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New bill to make sexual orientation discrimination illegal

It is unknown how many people are discriminated against based on the fact that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. No one should have to suffer from harassment based on his or her sexual orientation. In fact, Maryland lawmakers are working on a bill to make sexual orientation discrimination illegal in various aspects, including employment.

In the past, state lawmakers have attempted to pass similar bills that make it a crime for employers to discriminate against an employee or potential employee based on their gender identity. Those bills all failed, but it is hopeful that this one will pass. It was filed with the Senate clerk and will likely be reviewed in a week or so.

The bill currently has 24 sponsors and is expected to be supported by top officials and lawmakers in Maryland. The focus of the bill is on transgendered individuals, who already have certain protections in several counties in the state.

Discrimination in the workplace can occur in many forms. Too often, employers are concerned with specific aspects of a person, such as his or her age, gender, religion and sexual orientation. Classifications such as age and gender are beyond a person's control. Instead, the focus needs to be on a person's qualifications and how well he or she can perform a job.

If people feel that they were fired from a job due to their sexual orientation, then they may want to look into protecting their legal rights. This is considered wrongful termination, and an employer may be fined or or face other penalties for this action.

The Baltimore Sun, "Transgender rights bill introduced in Annapolis" Kevin Rector, Jan. 14, 2014

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