Louisiana Politician Wants to Legalize LGBT Workplace Discrimination

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday April 17, 2013

A Republican Louisiana state representative filed a bill on Tuesday that would ban employment discrimination lawsuits based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the conservative state, Think Progress reports.

Louisiana currently does not have any laws that protect members of the LGBT community from employment discrimination. Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R) apparently wants to take things further.

Under his bill, any lawsuit alleging wrongful termination based on sexual orientation or gender identity would be automatically dismissed as "frivolous." The bill would essentially allow Louisiana employers to openly discriminate against gay and transgender workers.

As stated, Seabaugh's bill (HB 402) "provides that suits filed for employment discrimination for any reason other than age, disability, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, sickle cell trait, and genetic discrimination shall be dismissed and considered frivolous."

Officials from Equality Louisiana took to their website to condemn the legislation. The LGBT group writes the bill would make it so gay and transgender employees' complaints are not heard and that it would actually punish them. Workers would be liable for damages for discriminating their employers and have to pay court costs. According to the Independent Media Group, the measure would also overrule local anti-discrimination ordinances.