Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Restores Employment Fairness Protection to State Government

Press Release Date:  Monday, June 02, 2008  
Contact Information:  Dick Brown
502-564-2611
 


FRANKFORT, KY – Governor Steve Beshear today signed an executive order restoring equal opportunity employment to all state employees and prospective employees. Under the order, no one can be hired or fired based on race, age, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, ancestry, age, disability, or veteran status.

“A person should be hired or dismissed on the basis of whether they can do the job,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Experience, qualifications, talent and performance are what matter.”

In 2003, Gov. Paul Patton issued an identical executive order and said he was a strong supporter of fair and equal treatment of employees. He noted that qualifications and conduct in the workplace should be the only factors by which an employee is judged.

However, in 2006 Gov. Ernie Fletcher stripped those job protections from a certain segment of the state employee population - notably Kentuckians who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered. The suggestion was that such protection was either unnecessary, legally expensive or the equivalent of “special treatment.” As a result, a gay person could be fired simply for being gay.

The executive order signed today by Gov. Beshear restores equal treatment, diversity and inclusiveness to state government.

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Employee Fairness Protection Executive Order (229KB PDF)