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H.R. 1397 (112th): Employment Non-Discrimination Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

4/6/2011--Introduced. Employment Non-Discrimination Act - Prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by covered entities (employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, or joint labor-management committees). Prohibits preferential treatment or quotas. Allows only disparate treatment claims.

Prohibits related retaliation.

Makes this Act inapplicable to: (1) religious organizations, and (2) the relationship between the United States and members of the Armed Forces. Declares that this Act does not repeal or modify any federal, state, territorial, or local law creating a special right or preference concerning employment for a veteran.

Provides for the construction of this Act regarding: (1) enforcement by employers of rules and policies, (2) sexual harassment, (3) certain shared facilities such as showers or dressing facilities, (4) construction of new or additional facilities, (5) dress and grooming standards, and (6) provision of employee benefits to married vs. unmarried couples. Declares that, in this Act, "married" refers to marriage as that term is defined in the Defense of Marriage Act (a legal union between one man and one woman).

Prohibits the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from collecting statistics from covered entities on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or compelling the collection by covered entities of such statistics.

Provides for enforcement, including giving the EEOC, the Librarian of Congress, the Attorney General, and U.S. courts the same enforcement powers as they have under specified provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991, and other specified laws.

Allows actions and proceedings, subject to exception, against the United States and the states.