Traditionally, anti-discriminatory laws in the workplace have not covered gay and lesbian workers, but as the progressive movement toward equality for all ethnicities, women, and sexual orientation gains momentum, so does the pendulum for change. Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is now explicitly illegal in eighteen states and the District of Columbia. Six states have also taken measures to combat employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for transgendered people.
Because the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission did not outright recognize employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation alone, several measures have been taken to ensure equality. The Office of Personnel Management, for example, interprets “conduct” as inclusive of sexual orientation, and thus protects employers from firing employees on this basis alone.