March 2023: Governor Signs More Workplace Protections for LGBTQ Workers

21 Mar


Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Michigan.

What happened?
In a previous communication, we informed you that the Michigan State Senate voted to increase workplace protections for members of the LGBTQ community by passing Senate Bill 4 (SB 4). This is an update for that communication.

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What are the details?
On March 16, 2023, Governor Whitmer signed SB 4 into law, reaffirming civil rights protections for sexual orientation and expanding coverage to include gender identity.

SB 4 defines “sexual orientation” as “having an orientation for heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or having a history of such an orientation or being identified with such orientation.” It further defines gender identity or expression” as having or being perceived as having a gender-related self-identity or expression whether or not associated with an individual’s assigned sex at birth.”

Suppose this law were to pass and take effect. In that case, employers could face repercussions if they are found to have discriminated against LGBTQ applicants or employees – including rejecting job candidates, terminating their employment, or other adverse workplace actions.

Furthermore, harassment based on LGBTQ status would also be unlawful and subject to civil lawsuits. The also law prevents employers from asking job applicants about their sexual orientation or gender identity, or expression.

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For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 4 (SB 4)

Michigan Government Article


What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above, educate management and supervisors to be aware of the protections this law grants and ensure that their employees are treated fairly regardless of their identity.

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