At one point yesterday over on Pam’s House Blend, Autumn wrote a somewhat panicked piece early in the day which she later retracted regarding how the TS/TG inclusive ENDA didn’t specify the right to use a specific rest room or the right to a varied presentation.
She used as an indictment the writing of an inclusive ENDA using basically the sort of language that was used in extending protections in California Law.
When I attended sessions on the writing of the bill to expand hate crimes laws we worked on keeping the language general rather than too specific using terms like gender identity, gender orientation and perceived identity or orientation. Using this sort of language leave specific legal interpretation open ended in expansion while tending to close off interpretation in a more restrictive direction.
To Autumn’s credit she retracted much of what she had put up.
ENDA will not even begin to solve work place problems. It is a building block in both protections and inclusion.
One of the big problems it fails to solve are the basic lack of workers rights. Thirty years of right wing reactionary shrinkage of workers rights have left all workers suffering the petty whims of employers. Many states have fire at will laws that deny workers any protection at all from being terminated at any point without explanation.
Employers are allowed the right to grossly violate employee’s freedom by demanding they submit to drug testing.
Many have specific dress codes that are often pretty much unisex. No jewelry, specific colored polo or similar shirt and black or khaki colored slacks.
The rest room problem is pre-solved.. Employees all use the same restroom one at a time with a lock on the door and yes it is far from the work stations and often occupied.
After ENDA it is important that LGBT/T people consider the work that needs doing regarding reforming the working conditions everyone is forced to endure. We need to roll back the anti-worker conditions imposed by the 40 years of right wing Republican rule. It will be like undoing the 40 odd years of Stalinistic rule was for East Europeans or the nearly 40 years of Franco’s fascism in Spain.
It won’t happen over night. But along with an inclusive ENDA and the repeal of DADT we need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to regain the right to unionize. We need to repeal the Taft Hartley Act.
As it stands almost all workers are virtual slaves whose labor produces the surplus value that allows the ultra rich to amass so much wealth while those that produce the wealth not only have so little but work so hard to produce those riches.