As they leave for the summer, they face a system in which their faculty and staff can be fired for being LGBTQ, as there are currently no protections for people who identify as LGBTQ in the workplace. However, with some activism, they may be able to return in August with these protections in place.
ENDA has been reintroduced with Democratic and Republican co-sponsors. More information can be found at the PFLAG blog.
The importance of these protections for our faculty and staff in PASSHE are obvious. What may be less obvious, though, is how these protections will help our students. Just their existence sends a message to students that the workplace is safer. However, faculty and staff who are provided workplace protections can also be more open and inclusive in their own work, providing additional support to students without fear of losing their jobs.