At Barrett & Farahany, our experienced Atlanta discrimination attorneys believe that, in the workplace, you should be judged by your merits and dedication, not your sexual orientation.
Although the world has become more accepting of same-sex relationships, something as simple as placing a photo of you and your partner on your desk can spark discrimination. What many employees who experience discrimination don’t know is that you might be more protected against others’ prejudices than you might think.
While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers against discrimination in regards to gender, religion, and disability, it does not include sexual orientation. In fact, other than a provision of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 – which covers federal government employees – there is no federal law on the books making orientation discrimination in the workplace illegal.
In fact, studies show 38% percent of members of the LGBTQ community have been the victims of workplace discrimination. Unfortunately for many, there is little recourse. There is, however, recourse for gender stereotyping, which often occurs in sexual orientation discrimination.
Thankfully, the tide is shifting. Currently, more than 20 states and hundreds of county and city municipalities have created laws prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. This number continues to grow regularly. In addition, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA) bill to make sexual orientation discrimination illegal is gaining momentum, though it has yet to become law.
If you live in a state or county with a sexual orientation discrimination law in place and feel you have been discriminated against, our team is committed to helping you. If you’re not sure what laws your state or county has, our team can help you find out as well.
Reach out to Barrett & Farahany if you have experienced any of the following:
If you are not hired, not promoted, or fired because of your sexual orientation – whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or straight – or if you are treated negatively by supervisors or management, it could be an issue of discrimination.
Harassment may include comments about your mannerisms, jokes about your orientation, threats against your person or career, or any other acts that create a hostile work environment. While many workers have experienced harassment at work in regard to their sexual orientation, 90% of transgender employees admit they have been harassed.
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, thereby protecting the states’ rights to define marriage. If your company provides benefits to married couples, you are to receive the same benefits as your heterosexual co-workers.
If you feel you have been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace because of your sexual orientation, you do not have to take it. You can consult with the sexual orientation discrimination attorneys at Barrett & Farahany to determine what laws may offer legal protection in your state.
Even if there is no law affecting your employment, you may be able to encourage your employer to cease discriminatory activities and educate others to improve your employment situation. You can even file a lawsuit on the basis of a hostile work environment. Many cases of discrimination lead to or are symptoms of a hostile work environment.
For help and to learn more, contact Barrett & Farahany today.
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