tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 16, 2015 10:30pm-12:31am EDT
>> anyone else want to give us a killer idea, maybe something that has already been mentioned once or twice? maybe not? >> i think the improper payment act do not pay hold agencies accountable. when you are measuring that it's going to hold them accountable to make it a priority. i also think electronic verification at the state level i think it has proven that those death reports are highly accurate and moving in that direction. i would agree with mr. brune that's prudent and it would allow them to look at other verification processes that perhaps moves resources to those other areas and i go again to verification of family members and funeral homes. we look at some data of 82 corrections in 2012 and 13 and we pulled a small case sample 46 cases. 35% of those cases, those folks
were in fact alive but -- >> what%? >> 35% of the 45 pieces we looked at. they were erroneously placed in the file. when you look to the source of those reports it was family members and those are typically regarded as being highly accurate and not something -- subject to verification. the free up resources they don't have to focus on the states who are verified electronically. perhaps you can look at these other policies and use additional bear vacations. >> ms. davis we have a picked on you very much. if i could look at it that higher level at the overall improper payments estimate this past year which was up almost $125 million there were drivers and those drivers or medicare service, medicaid and the earned income tax credit program. when you look at those
individually medicare service was almost $10 billion medicaid a little over 3 billion the earned income tax over 3 billion as well. if you look at those and you have 65% of your entire estimates of improper payments what is a concern is that these programs particularly health care programs are growing. for example hhs has some estimated or predicted that over the next three years the medicare and medicaid programs are going to expand program outlays by 8% over the next three years so if you take that and you compared or analyze it against their rate increases you know there are some concerns again to be a lip -- little bit more specific the rate for the fee-for-service program is 10.1% last year and it's now 12.7%.
medicaid also wants up the whole percentage point. the earned income tax credit over the past five years has been running 25% and last year was over 24 now to 227 so if you look at these programs and the facts the error rates in these programs are increasing and compound that with the possibility that program outlays are going to increase it's going to be difficult to get a handle on this overall improper payments. >> not only is there ranking member -- to this issue but is also a good sprinter. i really want to explore the edr's and the differences between the states and the data that comes from those. i don't know who is the best person to talk to about that. mr. o'carroll? do you have stats in terms of
the information coming from states with the edr versus those that do not have edr? >> yes we do and there is really two dimensions both of which i think are important to us and a value in the conversation about improper payments. one dimension is timeliness of reporting and within the edr arena we average a report within five days of the date of death and within 24 hours when the state becomes aware of it. that's very timely. >> again those are in the exact form that you want the men. it totally matches your database? >> correct and for the record i could provide you what amount those inquiries do not match when they send us a name and an ssa combination. what doesn't match before they report i want to make sure that i mention that process is that
the first step before anything is sent to us is an ssa match. if that occurs we will get the rest of the information. if it doesn't occur it goes back to the reporter in order to doublecheck to make sure they have the correct information and that they did not miss key something. >> the states of him have edr are you getting those from their offices of vital statistics or is that where you're getting things from financial institutions and all of the other? >> all of the other in we could get multiple reports senator even in an edr state and it's important to recognize that in those states that have adopted electronic registration every jurisdiction within the state does not use it equally. so some jurisdictions and counties or municipalities may be add 100% utilization and others may have a low rate so there is much more work to be done. part of that i think is a reflection of the fact that at
the local level these records were maintained in different formats and the quality of that data varies. >> so you don't have the localities within the state some kind of central data center and then have those electronic records forwarded to social security? do you are getting these from multiple sources in the state? >> it's up to the state how they send us information. usually it does come from the state bureau of vital statistics but how those entities are organized at the state level varies. >> the 37 states you get that from they come from a centralized vital statistics office in the state? they'd may be getting information from multiple sources but they accumulate it and there's just one contact for social security? within those 37 states? >> that's generally true that's generally true but it can vary depending on the state. >> so what has been a hangup in
the 13 other states? is a resistance? is abundant? do they fund their death records or registries themselves? >> i would say funding is definitely part of the equation. i think that some states recognize that they have more work to do that the state of their records would require a lot of effort in order to get them, to get the records to a point where they could send it to us reliably in the electronic mechanism that we request. >> i'm all for states rights but this may be something that we maybe need to work on. ms. davis i did want to just talk about exactly how we calculate the total number of improper payments and also verified my staff in 90% of those are overpayments correct? is it about that or what is your information in terms of
overpayments versus underpayments because we talk about improper improper. what makes? >> we have not been recent work to determine the actual mix. i will say the majority are overpayments and there are a number of items of course better classified as improper payments because there is insufficient documentation. >> the calculation of the $124.7 billion, that's all through statistical sampling correct? >> correct. let me qualify that statement. statistical but the omb can improve -- approved an alternate methodology. >> i would like to go through the panel and if there is a point you want to make one point relatively brief to close off the hearing and i will start with you mr. bertoni. >> to the extent that the d at some point will be made the full file i think you are running out
of time. every day as more states come out the electronic system there will be fewer records than there. that file is going to come less accurate so that's going to happen it should be in current or tandem with increasing the data in general. >> thank you. mr. brune. >> senator we are committed to maintaining accurate data. we depend on the states to report that information. we think fully funding the electronic death registration is the first step to that. we also support the ranking member's bill and would be happy to provide technical assistance on that bill. >> appreciate that. mr. o'carroll. >> we ask for exemption to the computer protection privacy act but it should go to the igs and the parent agency so is an example when we do an audit we can find if there's an issue.
if one a.g. -- agency is making payments and other agencies in making payments begin out the parent agencies make those matches. >> thank you. mr. mader. >> supporting the integrity measures of the current budget. >> i appreciate these brief statements. ms. davis. >> the improper payments legislation requires inspectors generals to perform annual compliance with the criterion by pierre and there are a number of issues that are identified over the last several years implementing the recommendations that are made by these inspectors general would go further in helping to reduce improper payments. >> i want to thank all the witnesses for your thoughtful testimony, your thoughtful answers. ms. rivers thank you for sharing your story and again this committee is dedicated to making sure it's not just hearing the something comes out of this so we want to work closely with all the departments so we can
employees. implementation of federal protections for lg bt employees. this panel is just over an hour. >> good morning everyone. calling them them a button to order while we wait the arrival of our pressure. i'm marty kester chairman of the u.s. commission on civil rights and i want to welcome everyone here to our briefing examining workplace discrimination up against lg bt employees. currently 9:02 a.m. and we are at the commission's headquarters at 1331 pennsylvania avenue northwest. i'm joined today by commission vice chair patricia 12 timmons-goodson. commissioner jackie is on the phone. then you do have a question please speak up since i
obviously can't see you and we need to know if you have a question you want to ask. the purpose of today's briefing is to closely examine the various federal protections that exist against lg bt workplace discrimination including the federal government's recent implementation and protections in the workplace against lg bt discrimination and two, title vii protections in the workplace for all lg bt americans would i want to thank commissioner achtenberg and her staff for their overwhelming efforts to bring this concept paper to us and to have this be selected as one of the issues that are the civil rights commission is looking at this year and i want to thank our staff from her office of civil rights evaluations for putting together an excellent panel which you will see developed throughout the day i couldn't help but reflect when commissioner achtenberg night join us commission four years ago once she is the first openly gay
member of the commission and i became the first latino chair. that alone made a big difference in the history of this commission but more importantly it was the first time we ever looked at an lgbt issue when we looked at the issue of bullying against children and students of all protected classes including lgbt students. that was a very important moment for this commission. commissioner achtenberg was a leader in that effort and fast-forward just a couple of years ago what is thought unachievable marriage equality is now virtually majority and today we are looking at an important issue of discrimination in the workplace. i can't help but think when the constitution says that we all have certain inalienable rights yet many americans are having denied that inalienable right in the workplace because of indelible characteristics. whether those indelible characteristics are race,
gender, national origin or sexual orientation it is the duty of this commission to examine those issues and ensure those protections are there. otherwise we cannot really have true equal opportunity in this country. today's panelists are going to present us with a number of points of view. each of them is an expert in the area and they're going to talk to us about the current and proposed legislation that is pending. they're also going to elaborate on actions advance by advocacy groups to alleviate some of the issues in the workplace but we are all going to be able to address these issues from a very thoughtful perspective and ultimately prepare a report to the president and congress on what we derived from today's briefings in the research conducted by our staff. today's panel features 18 distinguished speakers who are going to provide us with their viewpoints. they are divided into five different panels. the first panel is federal agencies. the second panel will consist about the secret to share their
perspectives. the third panel is going to touch on the economic impact of lgbt workplace discrimination. panel 4 is going to look at the unique challenges of the transgender community and panel 5 will conclude with religious exemption issues. during the briefing is panelists is going to have seven minutes to speak. after all the panels have made their presentations commissioners will then have the opportunity to ask questions. we will then be able to at the end of that panel move onto the next one. in order to maximize the opportunity for discussion i want to make sure that all the panelists did the best they can to ensure to the timing. you will see a series of warning lights in front of you. green, get going yellow get ready to wrap it up and read please stop. my colleagues know we will be fair and allocating time to them that we all want to be fair to one another to ensure everyone has an opportunity to ask questions. finally the record of this briefing is going to remain open for the next 30 days. a panelists or members of the public those in the audience are those who are turned and are
watching the election they have comments they can send them by mail at the u.s. commission on civil rights office of civil rights evaluation 1331 pennsylvania avenue northwest washington d.c.. our suite number is 1150 and a zip code is 20425 or via e-mail to public comments at u.s. ccr.gov. with those bits of housekeeping out of the way i would like to present our first panel. our first panelist this morning is ms. jeanne goldberg senior attorney advisor in the office of legal counsel of the eeoc and our second panelist is mary beth maxwell blade assistant deputy secretary at the department of labor pamphlet to ask you to to the panels to raise their right hand and swear and affirm the information you are about to provide to the commission is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief. is that correct? ms. goldberg at the floor. >> thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. the commissions congressionally
mandated role is to enforce title vii of the civil rights act of 1964 as well as the other federal employment nondiscrimination laws. collectively these laws enforced by the eeoc prohibit discrimination based on race color sex religion national origin age disability genetic information and reprisal for protected activity. for eeo charges against state and local government employers the commission investigates and mediates and where appropriate litigates selected claims if we cannot obtain a conciliate it -- for eeo complaints against federal agencies eeoc administrative judges may conduct hearings and the commission adjudicates appeals from final agency administrators decisions. despite these two different processes the commission statutory interpretations under
title vii and the other laws it enforces apply to both private and government employment. my statement today along with a more detailed written testimony i i have some bended summarizes actions that eeoc has taken to enforce title vii sex discrimination prohibition with respect to gender identity and sexual orientation. the commissions 2013 to 16 strategic enforcement plan adopted by a bipartisan vote in december 2012 includes as one of its enforcement priorities. [inaudible conversations] >> we will stop your time. >> thank you. >> we will give some additional seconds back on the game clock for you. >> the commissions 2013 to 16
strategic enforcement plan adopted by a bipartisan vote in december of 2012 includes as one of its enforcement priorities the coverage of lgbt individuals under title vii sex discrimination provisions as they may apply. importantly this does not recognize any new protected characteristics under title vii. rather it affirms that existing title vii protections can provide employment rights for lgbt applicants and employees. discrimination based on lgbt status is typically found to be actionable in either/or both of two ways. first, some cases of help and lgbt discrimination involves nonconformance with gender norms and stereotypes. under the supreme court's 1989 decision in pricewaterhouse v. hopkins in which the court explained the title vii's prohibition on discrimination because of sex strikes at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women
resulting from sex stereotypes. second some cases have additionally found discrimination actionable under title vii based on a plain reading of the statute because of such language. for example insurer versus fillington the d.c. federal district court held that because sex includes gender discrimination based on transgender status is literally sex discrimination. by analogy the court said an employer who says he harbors no bias toward christians or jewish but only towards convert has engaged in a clear case of discrimination because of religion which easily encompasses discrimination because of a change in religion. in the 2011 private sector amicus brief in jay v. -- and his tone 12 appellate decision in macy versus the department of justice the commission both both pricewaterhouse sex stereotyping. the plain language rationale to
take the position of discrimination based on transgender status gender identity having transitioned to pass currently transitioning or planning to transition the future is sex discrimination in violation of title vii. in macy the commission held to approve such a claim a plaintiff need not have specific evidence of gender stereotyping by the employer because consideration of gender stereotypes will inherently be part of what what drives determinations against a transgender individual. following macy the commission for their help and versus u.s. postal service that intentional repeated misuse of a transgender employees new name and pronoun may constitute sex-based harassment and an plaintiff versus department of ed -- veteran affairs the failure to provide agency records to conform to employees changed gender identity stated a valid title sex discrimination claim. the commission is also continue to reach public installations
initiate lawsuits and filed amicus briefs addressing coverage of chan -- transgender individuals including two months ago and the well-publicized texas case against the socks clothing retailer. the commission's position in each of these cases is consistent with a clear judicial trend. after pricewaterhouse every court of appeals that has addressed the question has recognized that the transgender plaintiff may state a claim for sex discrimination under title vii where the defendant's action was motivated by the plaintiffs nonconformance of sex there is is -- stereotype room. the commission found discrimination against lesbian gay and bisexual individuals based on gender norms expectations assumptions or stereotypes such as the believe that men should only date women or women should only marry man is discrimination on the basis of sex under title vii. this is recognized into federal decisions in 202011 barreto versus u.s. postal service allowing a title vii sex discrimination claim to proceed
on the theory that a supervisor's harassment at the gate subordinate to entered into a same-sex marriage was motivated by the stereotype that men should only marry women and the steo versus u.s. postal service allowing a title discrimination claim by a lesbian alleging supervisor harassment about her same-sex relationship was motivated by a sexual stereotype that having relationships with men is an essential part of being women. similar decisions followed and are collected in my written testimony. along with citations district court that have adopted the rushnell. paul v. bsf are away a case challenging a sex discrimination and employer's policy of providing health insurance coverage to employees for their legally married opposite sex spouses but not for legally married same-sex spouses.
in a brief filed in the fifth circuit in the eeoc versus boa brothers a same-sex harassment case the commission stated that terms used against gay and lesbian persons such as -- are degrading epitaphs and constitute evidence of discrimination on the basis of sex. in 2014 the commission also approved an amicus brief in support of hearing and mohamed versus caterpillar, a case in which the original panel opinion stated categorically that title vii does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination and an employee complaints about it are not protected activity for purposes of title vii retaliation. on rehearing the 7th circuit amended its opinion to delete the language that had said these claims are -- that the commission took the position that intentional discrimination based on individual sexual orientation can be proven to be grounded in sex-based norms
preferences expectations or stereotypes and thus violates title vii's prohibition of discrimination because of sex. her foot in the mohamed brief such norms and expectations can include the expectation that men should be attracted to women and women should be attracted to men and did not require that the person claiming sex discrimination has been viewed as insufficiently masculine or feminine by others based on dresser manners. in light of this president that eeoc expects and investigates charges of discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation as claims of sex discrimination under title vii. moreover we have coordinated with their state and local fair employment practice agency partner so that they advise parties of the right to file claims under title vii eeoc and our staff seeks to ensure dual filing for state or local law prohibits discrimination based exclusively on sexual orientation or gender identity.
eeoc staff continues to address the lgbt legal developments in numerous outreach and training presentations to the public. in addition a document for seiko is compiling all of these elements as well as charge day entitled what you should know about eeoc enforcement protections for lgbt workers along with other pamphlets and materials cited in my written testimony are available on our public web site. finally the commission is in coordination with our sister agencies in recognizing these developments. for example the u.s. department justice in both its enforcement defensive litigation has joined the eeoc in asserting that the discrimination based on transgender status is sex discrimination. citations to do doj amicus amicus brief as well as a memorandum on this topic included in my testimony. by fellow palace will address developments from the u.s. department of labor and i will also note the u.s. office of personnel management has also
issued guidance for federal agencies and employees on this topic. thank you again for the opportunity to participate in today's briefing and i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you. ms. maxwell. >> do i need to do something different with the microphone? good morning chairman kesser and commissioners thank you very much for inviting me to testify today. as chairman castro announced my name is mary beth maxwell's deputy assistant secretary for policy at the department of labor for the department is making enormous strides to provide protections for lesbian gay bisexual and transgender. as secretary burgess said last year our workforce and economy are strong as we embrace diversity and to its fullest and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone recognizing the american dream excludes no one. we are making sure that these basic values are reflected in
the full range of our two babies from rulemaking and guidance documents to program policies and their own internal practices. first we are hard at work on implementation of executive order 13672 to july 2014 order that prohibits employment discrimination by contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity. as personal president obama said it doesn't make much sense but today in america millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness they could lose their job. not because of anything they do or fail to do but simply because of who they are. lesbian bisexual transgender and that's wrong. we are here to do what they can to make it right. this is a historic development. federal contractors collectively employ about one fifth of our nation's workforce. while 18 states and more than 200 cities already ban workplace discrimination against lgbt
workers the executive order protects millions more workers from discrimination and this president obama said in june is built on progress in the private sector. equality and work places not only the right thing to do turns out to be good business. that's why most fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies in place. the department's implementation ever to the publication of a final rule in december of 2014 to implement the executive order. we have held multiple listening sessions for stakeholders. we are continuing to host webinars and other conversations. we have issued frequently asked questions and we will continue to issue guidance as we assist contractors with implementation. second, the departments work to ensure compliance with the supreme court's june 2013 decision in the united states versus windsor and other landmark development for lgbt rights. the windsor decision struck down section 3 of the defense of marriage act is unconstitutional and that the presence direction
tol of video instituted a departmentwide process to review and update all rules and practices in which marital status is a relevant consideration. so for example under the family and medical leave act as mla we updated our rules so that legally married same-sex couples at the same leave rights as opposite sex couples. the basic premise of the fmln is that no one should have to choose between the job security they need and taking time off to care for themselves or loved one. this update to the fmln builds on our earlier work at tol to ensure that the lgbt families can provide caregiving entity as mla. in june of 2010 the wage and hour division issued guidance clarifying that a son or daughter under the fmln a includes a child to whom an employee stands and local apprentice. this is important for families who may not have a biological or legal relationship with the
partner's child. also following windsor we made changes to the policies under the retirement income security act the rest of the federal employees compensation act fico and several workers compensation programs and issued guidance to the workforce development committee. the details of all of those in the written testimony. wherever possible we have followed a place of celebration rule which recognizes marriage based on the loss of the state in which they were entered into rather than a state where the couple resides. this rule ensures greater uniformity across employment laws and ensures no matter whom you love you will receive the same rights and protections as everyone else. third, the department estimated a department estimated they top priority to protect the rights of transgender workers. in 2011 d.o. l. updated song equal employment opportunity policies to add protection on the basis of gender identity. we have updated policies and training to help ensure the department is a respectable save
an inclusive environment for federal employees. last year the department clarified that we provide the full protection of the federal nondiscrimination requirements that we enforced to transgender individuals. this is consistent with guidance from the eeoc and doj. the discrimination based on gender identity including transgender status as discrimination based on sex. the departments working to update our policies based on these important legal developments. in january the opposite federal contract compliance programs issued a proposed rule to update its regulations on sex discrimination. the proposal includes the clarification of sex discrimination encompasses gender identity discrimination. the employment and training administration will issue guidance to its stakeholders in the workforce investment committee and they will seek more opportunities to ensure equality for transgender workers. we are also providing the training of employees and grantees need to put these policies into action including
for all ofccp staff as well as her job for operators and contractors in our workforce development system and grantees. finally we are making inroads in the remaining challenge and that is collecting data on the lgbt community. the bureau of labor statistics data questions regarding domestic partnership benefits to the national compensation survey for the first time in 2011. our 2012 survey on the fmln -- fmla included a question about sexual orientation. we have more to do and this is a space we plan to focus on in the future. i'm looking forward to our discussion today with you and with colleagues from across the government so we can learn from each other about what more we can do to ensure equal employment opportunity for all lgbt workers. thank you. >> thank you ms. maxwell. i will now turn to my fellow commissioners and would you like to have the opening question? >> i would like to make a brief statement and then offer the
first question today. it is a significant day for the united states commission on civil rights as the chairman mentioned. while we have doubt at least partially with other issues that pertain to the lgbt community this is the first time we will have dealt directly and forthrightly with the question of lgbt protection in the workplace. i want to thank my colleagues on the commission for agreeing to undertake this investigation by unanimous vote. it is much appreciated. the struggle for lgbt federal protections and lgbt rights in general and employment rights in
particular has been a lengthy one marking more than 50 years. in 1974 the legendary congresswoman l. epsa introduced the first propose federal statute to protect gay and lesbian americans based on their sexual orientation, the equality act of 1974 which was a proposed amendment to the civil rights act of 1964. and it would have included protections of lesbian and gay people in federally assisted programs and housing and other federally assisted programs. in that era however given the nascent state of lgbt rights movements movement and the negative public attitudes that
pertain to lgbt people it won't come as a surprise to you that while that law proposed law was introduced it was promptly referred to house committee on the judiciary and died there with no co-sponsors. that was 1974. 20 years later senator edward kennedy proposed the first federal standard that would have protected lesbian gay and bisexual americans from employment discrimination. the first version of and a. it has been a 20 year effort since that introduction to achieve a federal standard for employment protection of lesbian
and gay and bisexual people. in 2013 significantly that proposed protection, bundle of protections was amended to include protection on the basis of gender identity as well as sexual orientation. and that proposal was considered and adopted by the house but not taken up by the other. the harm of employment discrimination remains pervasive and severe. while many things have changed for the good the fact that there remains no uniform federal protection is troubling and the issue that is under
consideration by this body here today. the attitudes of the majority of americans are such that they believe that equality in the workplace even as it pertains to lgbt americans should be the rule of law and that is true for a majority of members of both political parties. in fact, many believe that it is already the rule of law that pertains in the united states today although that belief is erroneous. it is also the case that many local jurisdictions and some states have adopted jurisdiction wide and say why protections although it is less than half. we will hear testimony later
today that many large corporations and smaller employers have voluntarily adopted declarations of protection for lgbt workers and that is laudable as well but large corporations, even a majority of them do not employ even a majority of the 8 million lgbt workers in this country and while that level of protection as i say is laudable, again it is certainly not sufficient. it is also the case that over the course of the last few weeks and months we have seen that
governors are in a position to retract long-standing executive orders that had generated support for state workers. in the state of kansas for example and states are still in a position to retract protections afforded by local jurisdictions so these guarantees afforded by states and locales are important protections but what has been given can also easily be taken away without a formal national standard. my own view is that without a federal guarantee, without a
federal legal backstop perhaps even a series of federal laws and employment housing credit public accommodations and education etc. that is now being boldly proposed by certain members of both houses of the congress the equality promise for lgbt americans will not be realized. however consideration of such a series of protections is a consideration for another day. today, in this commission we are looking at the narrow proposition of whether or not uniform federal protection of lgbt people in the workplace is an issue of paramount importance. we will be in a position to make
recommendations to the president of the united states and to the congress of the united states about how serious and pervasive this problem is or is not and whether or not they should consider seriously on the basis of the recommendations of this united states commission on civil rights the adoption of a uniform federal standard and i am eager to listen to the deliberations of my colleagues as we consider this very serious issue of public policy. so thank you very much for a courting me your indulgence and i would like to ask their representative of the eeoc if you would talk to us about their record-keeping that the eeoc is doing and talk to us as well about the nature the number in the nature of the complaints if you have perceived over the last few years since you have been
undertaking this data collection. >> certainly. the eeoc began tracking the private sector charge data and the federal sector appeals data in terms of sex discrimination claims relating to gender identity and sexual orientation in january of 2013. for the final three-quarters of fiscal year 2013 we received 667 sex discrimination charges relating to sexual orientation and a 161 sex discrimination charges relating to gender identity transgender status. >> for the first three, the final three-quarters of fyturner 13 so january 2013 through september 30, 2013 we received 667 relating to sexual
orientation and 161 relating to transgender status. in the first three-quarters of fiscal year 2014 the numbers were similar. we received 663 relating to sexual orientation and 140 relating to gender identity. so we are receiving these charges and continuing to investigate and adjudicate and obtain relief. the fact patterns, the other piece of your question really run the gamut from alleged non-higher of an applicant who is either perceived in a certain way or is out in the application process. denial of promotion, termination of the time someone goes through transition or announces to their supervisor their intentions to go through a transition. a number of these are harassment cases relating or involving
hostile work environment harassment verbal harassment graffiti as was the issue in the mohammed case in the 7th circuit. we are seeing some of those harassment fact patterns as well well. so they do run the gambit and some of them and balled in addition specific related issues that i mentioned in my statements such as access to bathrooms, conforming employment records and other transition specific issues that might arise in the workplace. >> commissioners. mr. kladney. >> i want to talk about endo. this is direct ttu ms. goldberg. listening to your testimony this
is starting to sound like one of those situations where you have got a bill pending in congress. i think commissioner achtenberg set for 20 years. it's been controversial and it hasn't passed yet and suddenly it sounds like well it covers all of this anyway. could you tell me what endo would cover that you believe is not covered by title vii? >> i think the main issue with respect to endo that i could comment on is that the courts have not taken a uniform position by any means with respect to the interpretations of title vii sex discrimination. >> were there some cases you didn't discuss with us that
found these theories were inappropriate and not covered by title vii? >> certainly there are number of those cases. >> why did you leave them out of your first testimony? >> i didn't. they are discussed in the cases such as the mohammed brief. this facts brief reference in my testimony. the commission goes through its analysis and discusses why those decisions in its view don't use the direct analysis. but there certainly are a wide range of approaches that the case law is not consistent. there are particularly on the sexual orientation issue the case law is developing and courts are finding -- >> the court going the other way, what they are saying.
>> with respect to sexual orientation related sex discrimination claims the courts that have projected title vii sex discrimination coverage have rules applying really decades-old caselaw reflexively that sexual orientation and discrimination is excluded under title vii and they have not agreed with their reasoning in some of the cases that are discussed in the materials that have applied a pricewaterhouse sex stereotyping. what enda would add is as a general proposition is explicit protections and with their birth -- therefore provide clarity and consistency across the country for our stakeholders employees and employers. at this point in time we don't have that. >> i'm curious about the lack of
exception in enda and then enter title vii players are paid to higher on the basis of sex if it's a bona fide occupational job like bathroom attendant topless dancer prostitute or rape counselor. why is there no bona fide occupational -- >> i cannot speak to a particular version of the legislation pending in congress. i know obviously as commissioner achtenberg said there've been a number of versions including one in the last congress and they are not the same. i know congresswoman polis had originally been scheduled by your permission to be on this panel perhaps to address specific questions about the legislation. i think the piece that i can
speak to is the interaction with title vii and the development of the case law under title vii and what a federal employment nondiscrimination law prohibiting discrimination explicitly based on transgender status and sexual orientation would add is clarity and consistency for our stakeholders. we don't know how the courts will rule as this issue continues to percolate in developing the caselaw is by no means uniform. >> on the cases you were talking about since january of 2013 i didn't quite get the numbers they are but how many of these have now gone through the process at the eeoc and of those how many were found to be emeriti -- meritorious? >> many of those charges are still pending.
>> do you have the numbers on that? >> how many of those are still pending? >> and you get that for us and brief descriptions of each one of those? >> i would certainly be happy to try to provide descriptions of the types of issues that are raised in a cases. >> if they came in groups that would be fine to be able to say these were situations where someone thought they should be able to use the women's room and were not able to our whatever but yes i would like to know which each one of those is about. >> i don't know how the data is broken down by charge but i will certainly find out what's available and i'd be happy to submit that. >> with that i will turn it over to to commissioner kladney. >> thank you mr. chairman. they are noticed in your written statement that there were cases against the postal service and 2013 that was resolved. doj in 2012 and homeland
security in 2014. i found it interesting that the government so my question really is in your outreach and training training how pervasive is it through through the government? i know you have talked about 350 events in your written testimony testimony, public events i think they were so i'm wondering what are we doing inside the government regarding i mean these are fairly recent cases that were not resolved through mediation obviously. >> are you asking about are our reach to our federal government agency stakeholders? >> that's correct. >> i'm glad you asked about that and this is also a section in my written testimony although i did not include it in the oral statement. the commission has from the outset issued instructions on
our web site to the federal government agency eeo office about how to accept lgb tea related discrimination claims as sex discrimination claims under the governing process which is part 1614 the eeo process for federal government agencies. the commission through its office of federal operations quarterly meetings with eeo directors from the covert agencies so there is a continuing dialogue with them and support for them. in addition we have a series of workgroups on the private and federal sector side for giving technical assistance to employers and employees every day who called with questions about these matters. we also have given a lot of technical assistance to federal government agencies that are seeking to develop specific
transition policies to assist supervisors and h.r. departments with the nitty-gritty of how to assist an employee with any changes that might be necessary. >> my follow-up question then is these cases when all the way to hearing. is that because there was a believe that the agency was correct? >> those, the cases i believe you're referring to the 2011 federal sector a of appellate decisions are administrative appeals that were decided by the eeoc so those would have calm on appeal after the agency found that the complaints should be dismissed and the employee has an opportunity to either go to an eeoc administrative judge if there had been an investigation or if there is a dismissal are right to appeal to the eeoc so those cases the agency dismissed the complaint and said this type of claim is not actionable under title vii.
he came on appeal to the commission which then ruled otherwise and remanded it for investigation by the agency office because in that federal sector process complaints are filed initially with the agencies, the responding agencies to eeo office which conducts an investigation and otherwise rules on the complaint before it comes to eeoc. >> a bike and ask about some of these numbers for 2013 and 2014, are these complaints directly to your eeoc office as opposed to state eeoc offices? >> yes those were private sector charges so the numbers i gave you relate specifically to private sector charges that eeoc has done the intake on. >> and the state eeoc office receive these types of complaints? >> i'm referring to our 50 field
offices of the eeoc. we also have in work share agreements with state and local government fair employment practice agencies so the state and local human rights commissions they are often called. in those instances where we have an agreement they can take the charge or we can't and it's usually dual filed so the individual's rights are preserved under both the federal and local law even though it may be one agency or the other that is doing the investigation. >> it's my understanding that when the complaint is filed the eeoc or other agencies try to mediate it between the parties and then if mediation fails the eeoc picks up the case and tries to write this sue letter issued how long is it taking after mediation, how long is it taking
before the complaint is filed before a right to sue letter or the eeoc takes the case? >> we are provided with 180 days, six months and a minimum. it does take longer in some cases so some as less and some is more. >> how long does it take to get to a hearing? >> okay so i was just speaking about the private sector process and you are talking about the federal sector process where there are eeoc administrative judge hearings available. ..
>> thank you for your testimony. i don't mean to give you any extra homework to do. but in terms of the data related to the charges found could you talk about those? i know that you can't do it right now. but in this provision of data by how many were complaints and also of these charges and do you know what percentage of those -- what percentage they constitute out of all sexual discrimination charges and you know for a period of time the cumulative number of race discrimination common religious discrimination all of these charges are?
>> yes, we get that 95000 charges per year on the private sector side and the breakdown ranges from the religious discrimination charges of about 4% and the retaliation charges are about the highest, 35%. and the others are somewhere in between and i would be happy to provide that breakdown with respect to sexual discrimination charges. >> just one other solid question fifteen or 20 years ago we had an administrative process were would categorize certain charges as they came in. >> we do still have a priority charge handling system.
it was adopted in the mid-nineties and the numbers may have changed a bit in terms of that but we do still use a system. >> and the provision of that data, if it is possible if you can identify which of the charges have been prioritized would be helpful. >> certainly. the best guide for that in part in terms of this current commission is the strategic enforcement plan that i referenced in my testimony and we have the hyperlink to it as you can view it on a website with her written testimony that lays out the priority issues that the commission has designated for this timeframe. >> thank you. >> the question is for you and
it follows up on what the commissioner was asking. this is in large measure to investigate the federal protection in the workplace of lgbt, discrimination in the workplace. and we noted in your presentation with the materials you provide to you indicated that the strategic enforcement plan includes this [inaudible] and that includes coverage of lgbt individuals under title vii sexual discrimination. and i wanted you to talk about what led to this decision to include that.
>> certainly. since the fall of 2011 are former chair of the commission instructed all district and field offices to intake of lgbt claims and there are some of these claims are meritorious and so the charges were presenting themselves in the commission had that opportunity to see this. so that was prior to the decisions in the federal sector and a number of the other amount that i noticed. so by the time of this bipartisan vote the commissioners had an opportunity to see some of the patterns that
were rising with the kinds of issues that employers and employees were seeking guidance on that raised this on issues where the fact patterns being presented our novel issues that require development of the law application of the law in consideration of how this applies. so they have presented areas and it needed development and other times when you look at this there are other things that seem to have a great need and there are issues about believing to immigrant employees and human trafficking and issues relating to this as well in the act and
there's a lot of different reasons why they decided to include them and certainly unlike that, those are not the only charges they get priority and district directors whether meritorious or other issues for other reasons and can give priority as they see fit. >> thank you mr. chair. i'm very excited that we are having this hearing today the nondiscrimination act was one of the first pieces of legislation that i worked upon when i came to washington and i was a little sad that 20 years later we are still having a conversation. but it's great to see this as progress being made.
but the eeoc and the department of labor have been engaging employers with the legal interpretation of title vii moving on and the administration has taken executive action. i'm wondering what you are hearing from employers in terms of how this could be a rising. since you are interpreting title vii, i'm assuming that means that you are applying the altercation theory and religious exemptions that exists under that. some wondering how that is working out as well. >> i'm not familiar with any decisions that have been issued in this area that they have been called upon where that has been raised that might arise that
will presumably consider that. >> this hasn't arisen as a huge issue. >> no, i have not encountered that in a discussion of these cases. and that is limited to allowing religious organizations, churches and religious nonprofits to prefer members of their own religion for employment. it is not permit race discrimination or any other employment actions on this limited basis. so for many decades there has been a title vii case while ruling that religious organizations cannot engage in various forms of sex discrimination even if the
action they seek to take is mitigated by their religious belief. for example cases where a religious organization while they are permitted it's bound to have unlawful sexual discrimination under title vii providing a higher salary or different benefits for male employees other than females based upon a religious leaf upon the heads of household and some other issue intercepting. the religious organization statutory. if the employer were to raise is related to the first amendment in this charge arguing that title vii should not be applied they would address that. >> has that been raised for other agencies? as an issue?
>> i know a couple charges were that has come up. >> commissioner, i would add this in general has a lot of robust engagement with the contract of the communities and in particular in preparing for the new executive order. so i don't have the specific answers handy but we are happy to follow up and that is absolutely the engagement is impacting how we design guidance and assists contractors with compliance. we will be happy to provide additional information. >> thank you. it seems that perhaps those religious groups were concerned about this and they might actually prefer it some accommodation with the title vii
application if we understand it correctly. >> i'm not asking you to speak on behalf. i don't know that i can speculate about that. but i do understand what you are saying. >> it would be helpful to get some follow-up information as we reach out to the community and how you're planning to address them. >> we also had a robust engagement of folks from religious communities to be involve in implementation sessions as we prepare for implantation of the executive order and it's very important to get this perspective as well. >> i'm also wondering mr. chair, there has been a lot of reporting about policies
around employment discrimination in utah and some compromises worked out between mormon church leaders and advocates funding of the lgbt community. it may be early because this is very recent with reports and i'm wondering if your agencies have a review as what is being discussed. >> certainly there is no formal position on that. what we have all read about it and taking a look at the bill, it does not have any religious exemption for employment. and that tax title vii is a very limited religious organization. >> i would just speak again
which has convened and is a very important listening session. there is a range of best practices and plenty of places around the country that people are figuring out how to make things work. so i think that we will see that there are people that are coming up with solutions. >> one more question i forgot to ask about and that is roger will be testifying in the next panel and he has raised the flood of litigation with the passage of legislation. it's my understanding that i'm
wondering if that is a correct reading of the data. >> i think that that is exactly the correct interpretation of the data. that we have received close to 95,000 charges per year on all the statutes that we enforced and i said in those quarters in 2013 looking at a snapshot, we are talking about a fraction, talking about 800 charges altogether raising these issues and obviously a number of them may not be meritorious for unrelated reasons. >> is also arguing that discrimination seems to be declining to be almost negligent and i'm not sure what that is based on.
and i just wanted to get your reason of that. >> could you clarify the question? >> one of the arguments is the view that discrimination against lgbt people is in fact declining to be almost negligible in any action is not actually necessary >> i think that the commission that they take seriously the statutes that we enforced. and none of us would think that the religious determination that we enforced under title vii are ineligible with all the attention that we give those in so 20 years ago they were about 1.5%, yet the commission has continued to pay close attention to those issues to be responsive to the concerns raised by religious stakeholders and
employers for guidance in that area issuing technical assistance in the past year on religious garden grooming in the workplace and this includes the charges. our stakeholders want clarity on this and they want guidance. employers as well as employees so they can promote equal opportunity in the workplace and comply with the law. >> commissioner? >> [inaudible] >> you mentioned that the bureau of labor statistics has revised its practices. could you explain again what you now take note of that he you did
not before. and could you please talk about making reference to the amendment to change practices. could you talk a little bit about what the nature of the disparate treatment that was the result of this that contain before and does not pertain now. >> what i would note is one great step forward in adding a question on domestic partner benefits. it is a question that has been added to a survey which is significant and i'm sure you'll hear from experts later that is
similar to us adding to the fml a survey in 2012. so that would characterize this at the early stages looking for places to add appropriate questions about the community in the data collection efforts of the department of labor. >> on the issue of venice that an ldp >> on the issue of this and a lgbt person. >> in the past some people were getting the data fits through domestic partner benefits. so it simply is the reality of this showing up in the data that we are collecting that is the primary thing. and the same for fml a. under this guidance if these
terms appear in the relevant provisions of the irs code that the department interprets that merten spells include same-sex marriages and individuals respectively of same-sex marriages. so it was remedying the wrong and more that it was that the president had instructed all agencies to look at every single authority that we have and to make sure that we are updating it now so that the intent of the protections are totally available to everyone. >> i see. so in the event that one's marriage is legal in the state where the marriage to place then the federal protections are pertained. >> our decision is to go in every place possible.
so if you are married legally wherever you are married legally you'll be covered by those protections regardless of where you reside. >> thank you for the clarification. two are there any other questions? >> on data. >> thank you. i want to thank this panel for your responses and your information and we look forward to hearing from you in terms of the additional data that has been requested. i will ask the next panel to please prepare to come up with
[inaudible] >> commissioner, we are going to go back. i would like to first introduced the panelists. the first panelist is president and general counsel, mr. roger clegg, that of equal opportunity. and then we have kate director for the national center for lesbian rights. the third is sarah the fourth panelist is stacey long simmons director of public policy and government affairs at the national lgbt task force. and our fifth and final panelist for the second panel is winnie
executive vice president for external affairs for the center center for american progress and i will ask lotteries right hand and to swear and affirm that the information that you're about to provide to us is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief. is that correct? >> yes. >> thank you. good to see you again, you have the floor, sir. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the opportunity to testify today. my name is roger clegg and i am president and general counsel of the center for equal opportunity which is a nonprofit research opportunity organization. our principal focus is on public policy issues that involve race and ethnicity including civil rights and immigration. i should add [inaudible] and that i was once the deputy assistant attorney general in the justice department's civil
rights division. the point that i make in the written testimony that we have about this i'm just going to list them. number one congress will ask the constitutional authority. a and number two there is no call for a federal role in this area anyway. and the bill is inconsistent with free market and personal freedom and symbols. businesses make their own personal decisions. number four that it is not necessarily a moral or rational to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. number five is the legislation that could create any problems for employers. number six is the main purpose of this bill is to try to marginalize the views of americans that believe that the
map is a sin. and there's some overlap among these points but they are the same. and in my oral testimony would like to talk a little bit more about discrimination on the basis of orientation sexually. this is principally where the other employees were the customers might have objections to working with someone whom they view as engaging in immoral activity. when you think about it there are at least two other groups were discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation might make sense. when a person's sexual orientation might be useful with others of that orientation.
and number two when this event in the event of an employee exactly attracted to another is relevant, either positively or negatively to do their job. and on the first pass of cases i'm not a great fan of the notion that it's important to be a member of a particular group in order to know how members of that group might think. diversity proponents will frequently argue that to market a product the company needs to be sure that it has employees of long and so it is ironic that liberals want to pass this bill from giving the ability to hire employees if they wanted inside and on how to best target gay
customers for this or that product. another example that i like is marriage counseling for straight couples might be more credible if they are also straight in marriage come in this might be more credible if they are also gay. and as i said there's a second category which would include situations where it might be relevant whether an employee will be perceived as such attracted to some other individual. for example they provide caregivers to disabled or elderly individuals and those individuals might not want someone in that session when they perceive that someone who might become attracted to them sexually. a woman could be more comfortable with the caregiver that is a straight woman or even
a gay man than with a caregiver who is a straight man or a lesbian. and similarly if the job requires close contact parents might prefer straight men to work with adolescent males and adolescent females, straight men. so if you think i'm wrong and that no rational employer would ever discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, it does not follow theirs. there are all kinds of other objections to it in my written testimony and another, discrimination on the basis of this is always irrational, employers that engage in this will be at an economic disadvantage in the market will punish them. they are not hiring the best qualified people and that's bad for business. indulging this will make it more
likely that they will be driven out of business by their more rational competitors in the marketplace. this is a point that was made years ago by a professor that won the nobel prize. so if it's true that the market will take care of the problem. thank you very much mr. chairman, i'm happy to answer questions. any questions that you may have. >> i'm sure that we'll have some. thank you. >> mr. commissioner, it is a pleasure for me to be here today. my name is kate kendall. i'm the direction the turn. we do national legal and policy work across the country. in that 38 years it is fair to say that we have seen enormous
changes in the place of ldp key people lgbt people and this year alone we expect and hope that we will have a ruling from the u.s. supreme court in june that will give this country tonality with regards to the recognition and full dignity and respect for relationships through the recognition of marriage nationwide. we apply the gains that we have seen and one of the most retractable deficits remains in the place of employment in almost every day we hear from it lgbt individuals that suffer some kind of negative employment action or terminated from their jobs for those that are harassed based on the sexual orientation or gender identity. here today you will hear from a
former client, lisa, who is separated at her private christian college from employment when she came out to her soccer players. she was a very successful soccer coach, celebrating the pregnancy of her white. to be free from negative job action and to be able to be employed and be judged only based upon one's ability so that one can provide for oneself and one's family is at the heart of one's quality of life and being able to live fully in civil society. we reinforce that that lgbt particularly transgender employees, even in this moment of great acceleration for lgbt writes, suffer in the employment realm. we have heard from the department of labor and we know
the department of justice and we know the office of personnel management and the obama administration all support interpretation of title vii covers, certainly gender identity and also sexual orientation. yet we also know that the case law is decidedly mixed with a number of cases. and this is not discrimination under title vii, therefore making it totally free for those two openly discriminate on the basis of sexual discrimination and on many cases gender as well. we need a federal protections and we ask that those protections be furthered in whatever ways possible by the commission and that does not
include a license to discriminate in this includes the previous version of the nondiscrimination. it would be on the exemption on title vii and in the wake of a possible ruling on marriage at the district and circuit court levels, we have seen a number of states by technology and honoring and respecting these relationships as legally binding and recognized.
and that is in addition to the broader community and people participating in quality and fairness. nothing is changing in regard to these protections or religious faith or belief which we support and they could recognize or perform a marriage they disagree with, we would be first defending a minister or pastor if he or she were compelled to perform a marriage that he or she disagrees with.
what we are talking about is the ability to purchase participate in all realms of civic life and that is what some of these amendments and bills are seeking. our commitment to nondiscrimination comes private prejudice. that's the history and that is the balance that we have engaged in an participation in civic life is free to all individuals including protections with religious entitlement that will carve out not just lgbt people from protections but protections that have been afforded to individuals that have suffered or made vulnerable based on who they are know how they identify. this is one important want to know. i was raised mormon in utah. some would say a good girl gone bad.
but what i understand about utah is that it is as near to theocracy as a theocracy as any state that we have in this country. it was founded by one religion, the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints and dominated by this faith. and the utah law already contains broad religious exemptions. there was no compromise made an ipod law that was passed. and it was already containing rod religious exemptions because it is utah. it is not a federal model. the federal model is title vii and that is the one we want is equally protected based on such orientation or gender identity. >> mr. chairman, thank you for having me today. my name is karol, carol, i am
the legal director for the human rights campaign. the nations largest bisexual and transgender organization that of advocacy. on behalf of 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide i'm honored to be here before you today. following the economic recession, families across the country have faced unemployment and underemployment everyday. workers and their families are experiencing tough financial realities. but for many of these families discrimination serves as another barrier keeping them from getting back on their feet. although the advanced cannot be denied, employment discrimination is still a persistent barrier for too many hard-working americans. twenty-nine states offer no explicit protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. thirty-two states offer
production on the basis of gender identity. according to a 2011 survey, 40% of lesbian and gay and bisexual employees that were open about their sexual orientation had experienced experiences in the workplace during the five years prior. transgendered people face and even starker reality with 47% of transgender people reporting discrimination in the employment context. the impact of this discrimination is clear and harsh. determination on the job and during the hiring process results in lower earnings for lgbt people across the lifespan. in this includes some federal reports of the civil rights act of 1964 to include this for gender identity. specifically in 2012 they held an employment complaint of discrimination on the basis of gender identity to be covered under the prohibition affecting
discrimination. in january of this year they determined spousal health benefits was unlawful under title vii for same-sex individuals. they have relied upon the precedent set by the landmark case. the sixth circuit and the 11th up like this and extending this applies to transgendered employees who allegedly were fired because of their gender identity. although the court decision and the eeoc policy sends a powerful message to employers regarding the reach of title vii, lgbt people are still not exquisitely protected as a covert class of employees under this. lgbt people may be forced to file a lawsuit in order to enforce these protections. a luxury that most in our
community cannot afford. the obama administration is taking meaningful steps towards protecting workers from discrimination. in particular i would like to highlight the executive order signed by the president which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and government access. this is one of many examples that underscores the administration's recognition of the clear and compelling interest in ending this harmful discrimination. government has eradicated this in employment we also recognize that this has been balanced with religious rights of employers. given its history religious employers already benefit from ample exceptions from federal nondiscrimination provisions. specifically title vii providing strong protections for religious organizations, including exemptions for employers in the context of hiring and firing. the ministerial exemption
examined by the supreme court exempts religious employers from discrimination positions when they make employment decisions involving ministerial staff. and so additional exemptions are also unnecessary but could lead to consequences for discrimination protection. protecting workers on the job will not infringe upon religious beliefs of employers. they already have the sample protections both under the first amendment and the explicit statutory exemptions. they have not been shy in applying these in the right ways.
and the supreme court also recognize that government has a unique and compelling interest in protecting against employment discrimination. joseph alito rejected the possibility that discrimination in hiring might be close as a religious practice. he wrote that our decision today provides no such situation, the government has a compelling interest in providing equal opportunity to participate in the workforce. america's top corporations and small businesses support comprehensive nondiscrimination workplace protection. because they know that in order to remain competitive they must recruit and retain the best possible talent, including members of the lgbt community. this also includes comprehensive protection including more than 200 civil rights religious and women's rights organizations.
the coalition partners support the introduction of comprehensive legislation that will protect lgbt americans from discrimination and not just in employment but also in housing and education, public accommodation, jury service and credit. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. >> thank you. >> would like to thank you for asking us to participate [inaudible] i am the director of public policy and government affairs for the national lgbt task force. the oldest advocacy organization. today's testimony will examine the scope of federal protections to eliminate against employees.
lgbt americans face high levels of employment discrimination and an estimated 5.4 million workers in the united states. discrimination against people persist despite the increasing situation of violence. this can lead to a significant impact on the economic and social and physical well-being of lgbt people. over 50 studies of discrimination against lgbt people have been conducted and a face significant barriers to quality. even fewer studies have been conducted about discrimination against transgender people. so addressing this gap in 2011 in a joint effort it was
published at every turn. a report of the survey. as documented what people experienced including education and health care and many other areas. the key finding is this. the state of the workplace for transgendered workers is abysmal. discrimination and employment is a universal experience. with 90% of the survey sample reporting discrimination on the job or taking actions like hiding who they are to avoid it. nearly half lost their job or were denied a job or promotion as a result content direct result of being transgendered. they have experienced devastating negative outcomes stemming from the discrimination they face and later on on the panel you hear more about this important survey and the finding
from the landmark research that we conducted. additional data collection is essential because lgbt people faced staggering levels of discrimination and employment housing, public accommodations and other areas. this policy change we expect this to decline. however, in order to measure the change in discrimination and to create interventions that will accurately respond to the needs of the lgbt community with we need to collect more data and complete the study and data on employment will be collected and may reflect these changes. more comprehensive data collection is needed. every federal agency should be charged with collecting dust in
all surveys. this can be spearheaded by executive order calling for agencies to determine this for integrating these democratic questions. and this includes population-based survey of the workforce and by the bureau of labor statistics. this occurs across sectors in various positions and stories that highlight in the hiring and firing were included in the written testimony. the workplace protections exist as we have heard from earlier today an exclusive protections are needed. in recent years the workplace employment protections have gained momentum and public
support and we currently have 19 states in the washington dc area that have employment on his donation laws that protect employees from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and an additional three states that can cover this as well. this grant protection also extends to lgbt people. the president talked about an executive order. however to ensure that this is eradicated we need explicit inclusion and this is likely to be unaware of the potential liability under federal law and
not component employees are also likely of the right to be free from discrimination on the job and especially gender identity and it prohibits this on the basis of race and color and religion in this includes meaningfully contributing their talents to the nation's workforce. workers who encounter this are faced with a careless choice of either hiding their identity in the workplace or risking discriminatory treatment and harassment by disclosing his identity. while the protections take shape and agencies issue guidance, it will take time for employers and employees to recognize the legal
protections available. we hope that more data will be protected as we await the new president that will set this matter unequivocally on track. on behalf of the task force i would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide a statement. we are grateful to explain in further details. >> thank you. >> it's an honor to be here today. i am the executive vice president for external affairs at the center for american progress. an independent, nonpartisan institution dedicated to improving the lives of all americans through progressive ideas and actions. as an institution and americans we believe in the right of all people to equal opportunities and equal protections of the law. today in america it remains legal in 29 states to fire an individual because of their sexual orientation. in 32 states, transgendered
americans lack protection from discrimination in the workplace. despite the historic progress that we have seen on marriage equality in 16 states and counting, same-sex couples can be legally married and legally fired from doing so all on the same day. were please protections lie at the center of americans nondiscrimination laws. for marginalized communities these protections serve as an integral part of the american dream and a gateway to equal opportunity and financial stability. the lack of enumerated provisions for workers remains a central need in order to combat the pervasive discriminations based in all areas of life including a particularly employment. in june 2013 the center for american progress in collaboration with our partners and the human rights campaign
released a comprehensive report outlining the broken garden for lgbt workers that leave many unable to provide the basics for themselves and for their families. the report demonstrated that many of our families know all too well that lgbt workers faced serious barriers to gaining and keeping a job due to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. among individuals between 11 and 28% reported being denied were passed over because of their sexual orientation while one in 10 reported having been fired from a job in the last five years because of who they love. the rate of discrimination are even more alarming for transgendered people. 47% of whom who have reported being fired or not hired or denied a promotion because of their gender identity. of that 47% roughly half have
reported being fired from a job they already had because they were transgender. for lgbt americans with jobs, many report unequal pay due to their identity. they may tend to make 10 to 30% less with in comparable jobs. transgendered women see a dramatic decrease after contributing to poverty rate for transgendered people that is significantly higher than the general population. employment laws remain at the heart of our push for nondiscrimination protections. any discussion about insurance there and equal access to adopt not be limited to protections in the workplace. the ability to find this work does not begin and end with the application process. it also includes the ability to gain a quality education in a safe school, a secure housing and have equal access to the
goods and services that every american needs to live and thrive. this past december my colleagues released a report entitled we the people which outlines the discrimination faced by lgbt people in employment housing, education and public accommodations. the report called upon congress to join the growing number of states in passing a comprehensive nondiscrimination act which would provide protections based upon sexual orientation and gender identity in many aspects of life. lgbt americans are routinely denied shelter in more than half of the events feel unsafe in their schools and customers are too often refused access or treatment in the nation's marketplaces. without protections to combat these instances of discrimination along with protections in employment, too
many lgbt americans will be denied the basic tools necessary to gain employment. despite these alarming instances both in and outside of the workplace considerable progress has been made on the federal level to utilize existing civil rights protections to combat discrimination against americans. two years ago it was determined that discrimination based on gender identity constituted illegal sex discrimination under title seven. today the department of justice is utilizing that same rationale to combat were placed discrimination by public employers. and the single largest expansion of lgbt workplace protections in our nations history, president obama added sexual orientation protections to the executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors. in the end whether we achieve these protections through the
courts went through the legislature were most likely some combination of the two the fact remains that the force of these laws relies upon adequate resources and tools for those tasked with enforcement. many believe that discrimination is a relic of the past, the number of overall discrimination charges filed has reached historic levels. despite this increase in complaint, they have more than they did 20 years ago in the same trend is occurring with enforcing our nation's civil rights laws. many are art he part of the community. the fact that they are doing so while diminishing staff is unacceptable and as we push congress to expand protections to include all americans we
will push for the necessary appropriations needed to ensure that all current and future nondiscrimination protections are fully enforced a society where all people have equal access to the central pillars of opportunity. with a significant rate of discrimination faced by lgbt americans, it is abundantly clear to ensure that the level playing field both need and deserve the same protections that are afforded to all others. the time has come for all americans. ..
regarding the pervasive this discrimination? >> thank you so much for that question. the data that i was offering in terms of universal discrimination from our national transgender discrimination survey a survey that a survey that was limited to over 6500 transgender individuals surveyed across the nation and the cost to us territories. and so that was particular to transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. individuals. the 2nd.with respect to the filings that were referenced from the department of labor i think that it is critical that we continue to examine the levels of filings and examine what types of discrimination are happening