Model Contract Language

The strongest protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers is a union contract. Work with your Local Union leadership to ensure your contract fully includes LGBT workers and our families in every aspect, from general workplace non-discrimination to family benefits.

This resource provides sample language from actual union contracts in areas crucial to LGBT inclusion. If you have more questions about bargaining an inclusive contract, please contact our national office. Also, if your contract has some effective language that you would like to share, be sure to let us know.

Pride at Work conducts Union Certification Program trainings to support union leaders and staff in developing the concrete skills to bargain more inclusive contracts, drawing on specific language won by other union locals as well as education and bargaining strategies. To inquire about scheduling a training or a speaker, talk with your union leadership and contact us at our national office.

Health Insurance

“Domestic partners of employees who are the same sex as the employee shall be eligible for coverage under the Employer’s available health benefit plans as though they were married spouses. Dependents of such domestic partners shall be eligible for coverage under the health plans as if they were dependents of the employee. Requirements for domestic partner benefit eligibility shall be in accordance with Appendix E. Employees meeting such requirements shall then be authorized by the Employer to enroll their domestic partners and dependents.”

-CBA between State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire, SEIU, Local 1984 and the State of New Hampshire

Leaves of Absence

It is imperative that measures taken to protect and include LGBT workers and their families are clearly spelled out, in order to be as effective as possible.
“24.11 California Faculty Association and The California State University
The term “immediate family” as used in this Agreement shall refer to the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, parent, grandparent, grandchild, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, stepchild or stepparent of the employee, spouse or domestic partner, and close relative or persons residing in the immediate household of the employee (except domestic employees or roomers). Also included in this definition shall be any minor children or incapacitated individuals for whom the employee has primary responsibility or legal guardianship or conservator ship.”

Nondiscrimination

It is crucial to ensure that your contract’s non-discrimination clause includes specific protections for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity & expression”  because in most states, in the absence of a union contract, workers legally be fired because of their gsexual orientation, gender identity or expression.In most states, simply stating nondiscrimination “in accordance with state/federal law” does NOT include LGBT workers.  Contract non-discrimination clauses are the front-line defense for LGBT people against discrimination and harassment on the job.***************

“1. Statutory Compliance
It is agreed that there shall be no discrimination in the application of the provisions of this Agreement based on impermissible factors as defined below and as consistent with the state of Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976. Refer to Appendix C for the text of the act. The University agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Refer to Appendix A for a description of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

2. Impermissible Factors
“Impermissible factors” means an Employee’s race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, or any other factor irrelevant to his or her employment status or function.
3. Definition of Discrimination
Any of the following constitute “discrimination”:
1. to discharge, or otherwise to act against an individual when the act arises from or is related to the Employee’s status or function as a GSI or GSSA, because of an impermissible factor.
2. to limit, segregate, or classify an Employee in a way that deprives or tends to deprive an Employee of an employment opportunity or otherwise adversely affects the status of an Employee because of an impermissible factor.
3. sexual harassment. “Sexual harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature under the following conditions:
1. submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication by an employee is used as a factor in decisions affecting his or her employment; or
2. the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee’s employment, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment environment.
4. harassment. “Harassment” means conduct by a University of Michigan employee directed toward a member of the bargaining unit that arises from or is related to the Employee’s status or function as a GSI or GSSA and that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact or repeated verbal abuse, , threats, or intimidation that significantly interferes with the Employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties, that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose related to the individual’s employment, unless the timing or manner in which the activity or conduct is done would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the harassment grievant to suffer emotional distress.-CBA between Graduate Employees Local 3550 American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO and the University of Michigan**********

“7.1.1
The University will:
(a) Recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran.
(b) Ensure that all personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, terminations, layoffs, return from layoff, reduction in force (RIF), University-sponsored training, education, tuition assistance, and social and recreation programs, will be administered without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation,
gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran.

-CBA between United Faculty of Central and Central Washington UniversityIt is crucial to ensure that your contract’s non-discrimination clause includes protections for sexual
orientation and gender identity / expression because there is no federal legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination on the job.  Most states also lack any legislation doing so.  Thus, contract non-discrimination clauses are the front-line defense for LGBT people against discrimination and harassment on the job.

***************

1. Statutory Compliance
It is agreed that there shall be no discrimination in the application of the provisions of this Agreement based on impermissible factors as defined below and as consistent with the state of Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976. Refer to Appendix C for the text of the act. The University agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Refer to Appendix A for a description of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
2. Impermissible Factors
“Impermissible factors” means an Employee’s race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, or any other factor irrelevant to his or her employment status or function.
3. Definition of Discrimination
Any of the following constitute “discrimination”:
1. to discharge, or otherwise to act against an individual when the act arises from or is related to the Employee’s status or function as a GSI or GSSA, because of an impermissible factor.
2. to limit, segregate, or classify an Employee in a way that deprives or tends to deprive an Employee of an employment opportunity or otherwise adversely affects the status of an Employee because of an impermissible factor.
3. sexual harassment. “Sexual harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature under the following conditions:
1. submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication by an employee is used as a factor in decisions affecting his or her employment; or
2. the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an employee’s employment, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment environment.
4. harassment. “Harassment” means conduct by a University of Michigan employee directed toward a member of the bargaining unit that arises from or is related to the Employee’s status or function as a GSI or GSSA and that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact or repeated verbal abuse, , threats, or intimidation that significantly interferes with the Employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties, that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose related to the individual’s employment, unless the timing or manner in which the activity or conduct is done would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the harassment grievant to suffer emotional distress.-CBA between Graduate Employees Local 3550 American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO and the University of Michigan**********

7.1.1
The University will:
(a) Recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran.
(b) Ensure that all personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, terminations, layoffs, return from layoff, reduction in force (RIF), University-sponsored training, education, tuition assistance, and social and recreation programs, will be administered without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation,
gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran.

-CBA between United Faculty of Central and Central Washington University

Links to Complete Union Contracts

Below you will find links to the actual collective bargaining agreements referenced above as containing model LGBT-inclusive language.

Please note, these contracts contain LGBT-inclusive language, but may not all be all-encompassing.  For example, one agreement may have a very thorough definition of ‘family,’ but a less-than-perfect non-discrimination clause.  Contracts might have effective language preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation, but language on gender identity / expression has not yet been won.  Reading through these contracts can provide a useful context for considering your own Local Union contract, what priorities are for bargaining and where improvements can be made.