TransOhio is calling on all transgender people to look for employment–this time, at your member of Congress’ office.
Apply for a job with your members of congress to show them that transgender people need jobs now!
With the rate of unemployment in the transgender community twice the national average, we need Congress to act now to pass the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). We’ve included a sample cover letter (this opens as a Word document, courtesy the National Center for Transgender Equality) to send to your Congressional office that calls on your member of Congress to support your job search by supporting ENDA.
Personalize the cover letter as you see fit, print out a copy of your cover letter and resume, and visit the office for your representative that is closest to your home and hand them in.
You can find out who your representative is and where their offices are located at http://www.house.gov.
Take your letter to your Representative’s office to demonstrate the need for jobs for transgender and other LGBT people.
Hey, you never know and it never hurts to try, right!
If you are able to visit in-person, wear the best business clothes that you have. If you are not able to visit the office, fax or email your letter and resume.
Good Luck, and remember, keep your head up, walk tall and don’t let anybody ever tell you you can’t do something!
December 7, 2009 – TLDEF today filed a Complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations against an Orlando McDonald’s restaurant for refusing to hire 17-year-old Zikerria Bellamy because she is transgender.
On July 10, 2009, Zikerria applied online for a position as a Shift Manager or Crew Leader at McDonald’s. On July 28, after managers at McDonald’s learned that Zikerria is transgender, she received the following voicemail message from one of the managers:
Zikerria never received the job interview she sought. McDonald’s refused to hire her.
Zikerria’s story is all too common. Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace. According to a recent survey by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, 47% of transgender people report being fired, or denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are.
Few protections exist for transgender people who experience employment discrimination. In 38 states, there is no law protecting transgender people from being fired because of who they are. Federal law similarly offers no job protection for transgender people.
In Florida, while no law explicitly addresses discrimination based on gender identity, administrative agencies in Florida have ruled that transgender people are protected by the Florida Human Rights Act’s prohibitions on sex and disability discrimination. The Competitive Workforce Bill, which would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Florida Civil Rights Act, was introduced in the Florida legislature on November 20.
At the federal level, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (S.1584) would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s gender identity or sexual orientation at companies with fifteen or more employees. The legislation was introduced in the United States Senate on August 5, 2009. On November 5, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held the Senate’s first hearing on the latest version of ENDA. A version of ENDA was also introduced in the United States House of Representatives on June 24, 2009. The House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on the measure on September 23. Little has happened since.
According to a 2007 survey, 72 percent of Americans agree that “fairness is a basic American value and employment decisions should be based solely on qualifications and job performance, including for transgender people.” In a 2002 poll, 61 percent of those polled said that we need laws to protect transgender people from discrimination. President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and has stated his belief that anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
What You Can Do
SPREAD THE WORD
As you’ve done in the past, please help us spread the word about what happened to Zikerria. Let’s do our best to make sure it never happens again. Post the voicemail on Facebook, tweet about it, write about it in your blogs and embed the voicemail there, too. The louder we raise our voices, the more people will listen!
CONTACT CONGRESS AND DEMAND THAT IT TAKE ACTION ON ENDA
We’ve joined with our friends and partners at organizations around the nation to demand that Congress take swift action to pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA). In light of continuing delays in the House of Representatives, we must state clearly and unequivocally: Passing basic job protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people must happen now.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak to your Representative (have your zip code handy and they’ll help identify your member of Congress).
When you are connected with your Representative’s office, give your name and your city and then let them know:
I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H. R. 3017/S. 1584), which will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. No one deserves to be fired from their job because of who they are. No more delays–it is time to pass ENDA.
You can also tell them that you’ve heard about Zikerria Bellamy’s case. If you get voicemail instead of a person, leave a message – they count just as much as if you reach a staff member. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’ve called in the past, no problem. Call again.
SUPPORT EQUAL RIGHTS
McDonald’s is one of the largest corporations in the world. To say that its resources dwarf ours is an epic understatement. We can’t win this alone. We need your help to do it. Please donate now to help us win this fight for equal rights. Your support continues to inspire us. Thank you!
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO ENSURE INCLUSION OF THE LGBT COMMUNITY IN HUD PROGRAMS
Commissions first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the
LGBT community in the renting and sale of housing
WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced a series of proposals to ensure that HUD’s core housing programs are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The evidence is clear that some are denied the opportunity to make housing choices in our nation based on who they are and that must end,” said Donovan. “President Obama and I are determined that a qualified individual and family will not be denied housing choice based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The initiatives announced today will be a proposed rule that will provide the opportunity for public comment. The proposed rule will:
clarify that the term “family” as used to describe eligible beneficiaries of our public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs include otherwise eligible lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals and couples. HUD’s public housing and voucher programs help more than three million families to rent an affordable home. The Department’s intent to propose new regulations will clarify family status to ensure its subsidized housing programs are available to all families, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
require grantees and those who participate in the Department’s programs to comply with local and state non-discrimination laws that cover sexual orientation or gender identity; and
specify that any FHA-insured mortgage loan must be based on the credit-worthiness of a borrower and not on unrelated factors or characteristics such as sexual orientation or gender identity.
In addition to issuance of proposed rule, HUD will commission the first-ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing.
HUD expects to begin the regulatory process immediately. The LGBT discrimination study is similarly fast tracked. HUD undertook important research in 1977, 1989 and 2000 to study the impact of housing discrimination on the basis of race and color. It is believed that LGBT individuals and families may remain silent because in many local jurisdictions, they may have little or no legal recourse. HUD’s study will examine housing discrimination based on Sexual orientation or gender identity.
While there are no national assessments of LGBT housing discrimination, there are state and local studies that have shown this sort of bias. For example, Michigan’s Fair Housing Centers found that nearly 30 percent of same-sex couples were treated differently when attempting to buy or rent a home (http://www.fhcmichigan.org/images/Arcus_web1.pdf).
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.