TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – As the United States Supreme Court considers whether federal law protects LGBT people from job discrimination, Kansas is currently without statewide protections for workers.
In Kansas, employees working for companies with more than four employees are protected under the Kansas Act Against Discrimination. The act prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, color, disability, national origin or sex.
The question at the federal level has now become, what does discrimination based on ‘sex’ entail?
“The public opinion is shifting and that’s what’s impacting courts to determine, ‘what does sex actually mean?’,” explains Daniel Kopp, an Attorney with Joseph Hollander & Craft. “If that’s solely biological gender or a broader definition that includes sexual orientation as well as gender identity.”
Last session, Kansas lawmakers introduced a bill that would include sexual orientation and gender identity under the Kansas Act Against Discrimination but it did not receive action.
Governor Laura Kelly signed an Executive Order reinstating non-discrimination protections for State LGBT employees but this does not cover private business employees.