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LGBTQ working people lose if Supreme Court guts unions in Janus v. AFSCME
From a Pride At Work press release
2018-03-01

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Washington-DC: LGBTQ advocates call out the dangerous threat to LGBTQ working people that the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court case represents.

On February 26, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could squeeze labor unions, if the court rules that some workers do not need to pay for the union representation they receive.

Gutting labor unions puts LGBTQ working people's rights at risk: "Collective bargaining rights and strong unions are essential to the prosperity and security of all LGBTQ working people," says Victoria M. Victoria M. Rodriguez-Roldan, the National LGBTQ Task Force's Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Justice Project Director explained. She added that, "When LGBTQ people face discrimination at work — from hiring to equal treatment to promotions to firing — unions are there to provide them with needed representation to defend their rights and the rights all marginalized people."

LGBTQ working people face serious discrimination in the workplace: The Center for American Progress reported that up to 28 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers had reported being denied a promotion due to their sexual orientation, and the National Center for Transgender Equality found that 27 percent of transgender and gender nonbinary workers reported they had been fired, denied a promotion, or not hired in the last twelve months.

The freedom to stand together and negotiate with our employer is important for LGBTQ working people: "In more than half of the country, there is no state law protecting LGBTQ working people from discrimination by their employer," explained Jerame Davis, executive director of Pride at Work. "A union contract is enforceable in every state and can protect LGBTQ working people from discrimination, even where those protections aren't explicit in law," continued Davis.

Rea Carey, the Task Force's executive director put the case into perspective, saying, "Union rights are also LGBTQ rights. "Weakening labor unions means taking away an important tool for LGBTQ workers facing discrimination, adding to the burdens many LGBTQ working people already face."

Pride At Work builds power for LGBTQ working people to further social and economic justice. We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions and we organize in the spirit of the union movement's historic motto, "An Injury to One is An Injury to All." Learn more at www.prideatwork.org .

The National LGBTQ Task Force works to secure full freedom, justice, equality, and equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) people. For over forty years, we have been at the forefront of the social justice movement by training thousands of organizers and advocating for change at the federal, state, and local level. www.thetaskforce.org .


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