chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Elimination of Discrimination

Support Legislation to Prevent Gender and LGBT+ Discrimination in Public Accommodations and the Workplace; Oppose Legislation that Rolls Back Federal Protections

Gender-based wage discrimination remains a problem in the workplace, despite enactment of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women in the same workplace who perform substantially equal work. The ABA adopted policy in 2010 that supports the Paycheck Fairness Act and other legislation that enhances remedies and procedures to eradicate pay discrimination. The legislation, which passed the House last Congress, is likely to be reintroduced this Congress, along with legislation to mandate paid sick, family, and medical leave, supported by ABA policy adopted in 2018.

The ABA also supports legislation and other governmental actions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. One bill supported by the ABA that passed the House last Congress is the Equality Act, which would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

The ABA has a long and proud history opposing myriad forms of discrimination in public accommodations and the workforce. We have focused this priority on gender-based wage discrimination and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity because these are the areas receiving the most congressional attention and where stronger federal laws are needed. 

Given narrow margins in each chamber and competing legislative priorities, it is unlikely that bills addressing these issues will pass even one chamber, but retaining this priority is important because eliminating discrimination is a core goal of ABA and we stand ready to vigorously oppose efforts to roll back existing protections.