Armstrong & Associates Employment Law Firm

What can you do if you experience LGBT discrimination at work?

Work should be a place where you feel safe. No person can discriminate against you due to various protected statuses, including your sexuality. For example, if you face a demotion because you married a person of the same sex, this is discrimination.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you have a right to protect yourself against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

What is sexual orientation discrimination?

SOGI discrimination includes offensive and derogatory remarks about a person’s sexual orientation. Isolated incidents with offhanded comments or simple teasing do not constitute harassment. However, if the harassment continues and the person’s words become frequent enough to create a hostile work environment, this is discrimination and harassment.

Likewise, if your sexuality affects your standing in the company, it may be discrimination. Supervisors cannot overlook you because of your sexuality. For instance, if you have an opportunity to apply for a promotion but the company hires someone less qualified than you and you suspect it may be because of your sexuality, you could have a complaint.

How can you report sexual orientation discrimination?

If you believe someone in your company discriminated against you due to your sexuality, you have every right to complain to your employer. If the employer discriminates against you, you can take your complaint to the EEOC. When you bring up a complaint of sexual harassment or discrimination at work, your employer has to try to stop the hostile work environment. If he or she does nothing, it makes the employer liable for the actions of others.

You can face discrimination from employers, supervisors, colleagues and clients.


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