Missouri does not have an inclusive nondiscrimination law protecting individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, there are several protections in place that cover some employees.
- President Obama signed an Executive Order on July 21, 2014 prohibiting government contractors and subcontractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity (United States Department of Labor, n.d.).
- Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed Executive Order 10-24 on July 9, 2010 stating that sexual orientation is to be added to the nondiscrimination protections to all public sector employees in employment (Office of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, n.d.).
- PROMO (n.d.) reports that there are currently 17 cities and counties in Missouri that have nondiscrimination ordinances that include sexual orientation.
- Nationwide, 85% of Fortune 500 and 97% of Fortune 50 companies have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation including Express Scripts located in St. Louis (Burns, 2012).
No Security For Protections
Both of the executive orders that currently provide some protections can be revoked when the new leadership gains power next year.
Also, 17 cities and counties with ordinances is only a small percentage of Missouri where citizens have protections.
Finally, it seems for now the best way for LGBT employees to be safeguarded is to find employers that currently provide inclusive nondiscrimination policies.
Changing Attitudes For Protections
As stated earlier, new leadership gains power next year. Our country has been moving along progressively with regards to LGBT rights with a Democratic President. However, Republicans in Missouri will have complete control of our state starting next year. This means the progression of LGBT rights may slow and even regress. All of the current protections could end in the coming years due to the change in attitudes of the legislators governing our rights.
Let me know your thoughts about the current policies by leaving a comment below.