Sexual orientation discrimination has long plagued lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer workers in the U.S. In fact, according to reporting from NBC News, almost 50% of LGBTQ workers have been victims of it at one point or another. Fortunately, it is now clear that federal law protects these individuals from workplace discrimination.
In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to members of the LGBTQ community. This means most employers in the U.S. cannot discriminate against LGBTQ applicants or employees. Can heterosexuals experience sexual orientation discrimination, though?
All workers have Title VII protections
When it comes to sexual orientation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects everyone from discrimination. Indeed, just as federal law safeguards gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and queer employees, it also protects heterosexual workers. Moreover, Title VII protects individuals from workplace discrimination even due to their perceived sexual orientations or gender identities.
You have a right to complain
If you believe you are a victim of sexual orientation discrimination, you likely have a right to complain to your employer for redress. That is, you can tell your employer about your problem and expect someone to investigate. If the investigation reveals you have experienced sexual orientation discrimination, your employer should take immediate and effective steps to remedy the problem.
As you probably know, though, some employers do not take sexual orientation discrimination as seriously as they should. Ultimately, if your employer refuses to assist you, it might be time to file an official discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.