As Americans debate the political and legal implications of the "rights" agenda, we forget that there is a world out there beyond us, whose citizens are engaging in the same debate over the same subjects, and suing over the same claims.  So much for "American exceptionalism" when it comes to civil rights and employment law.     

Here are a few examples of the robust international debate:  


India To Pass New Laws Forbidding Discrimination Based Upon HIV Status


A new law proposed in India would forbid the testing for AIDS as a pre-requisite for employment, and would provide that an AIDS patient cannot be denied employment or fired without a written assessment of an independent healthcare provider that the employee poses a risk of transmission of the virus to others at the workplace. 


The law would also provide two avenues for legal redress for aggrieved employees: the appointment of an ombudsman to adjudicate any violations of the law, as well as a private right of action in court by the employee. 


See The Times of India.


Ireland Considers Banning Discrimination Against Gay and Lesbian Teachers

Proposals to end discrimination against gay and lesbian teachers will be published in the coming weeks, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn told delegates at a recent conference.

Under section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, schools are allowed to claim that hiring a homosexual, lesbian or bisexual teacher would undermine their religious ethos.

The Minister of Education also stated that “This work to remove discrimination will also be underpinned by the Forum on bullying which will take place on May 17th, and which will be supported by a working group on bullying which will initially focus on tackling homophobic bullying.”




Thirty British Women To Sue The BBC


The Daily Mail reported that “The BBC’s record on gender equality is under fire once again following reports that up to 30 female employees are preparing to sue the broadcaster, saying they have been the victims of sexism and age discrimination.”


BBC director-general Mark Thompson has conceded that there were “manifestly too few older women broadcasting on the BBC.”  Moreover, what has been described as “BBC sexism” has led to debate in Parliament on inequality in the workplace.   


See The Daily Mail Online.