State Rep. Eric Johnson holding state Rep. in training William Johnson. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

State Rep. Eric Johnson has filed HB 850 to amend the labor code to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

The labor code already prohibits discrimination based on race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin or age. Sexual orientation, for purposes of the bill is the person’s actual or perceived status. Gender identity or express is defined as ”

having or being perceived as having a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior, regardless of whether that identity, appearance, expression, or behavior is different from that commonly associated with the individual ’s actual or perceived sex.”

The bill is commonly known as a “state ENDA” or Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

The law would cover discrimination by an employer, an employment agency or a labor organization.

Several similar bills have been filed including those that cover public accommodation and housing. But in order to become a law, the bill must pass through committee before getting to the House floor. Similar bills that go to different committees provides more chance one of the nondiscrimination bills gets to the full chamber.

David Taffet