YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY SHOULD NOT BE BARRIERS TO YOUR CAREER
In the past fifteen years, strides have been made in terms of acceptance and visibility for the LGBTQIA community. It’s becoming more and more commonplace to see characters of different sexual orientations in books, television, and movies, and celebrities like Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Kate McKinnon, and Zachary Quinto have been outspoken about raising support for the community. And of course, the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on same-sex marriage made it legal across the country.
However, the challenges the community faces did not end there; many members of the LGBTQ community still face discrimination, especially in the workplace. In fact, one-fifth of LGBTQ Americans have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity when applying and interviewing for jobs. As a minority, it can be difficult to know when to contact a lawyer for discrimination, especially if you don’t understand the laws surrounding gender and sex discrimination.
Tides started to change nationally this past summer as the Supreme Court released yet another groundbreaking ruling to protect LGBTQ rights; they found sexual orientation and gender identity fell under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, hence outlawing the termination of individuals based on their gay or transgender identity.
Since this decision, Los Angeles discrimination law firms have seen an increase in cases where LGBTQ-identifying people have reached out to them after being dismissed from their jobs. Mann & Elias is a Los Angeles workplace lawyer that can help you fight against gender discrimination in the workplace.
What Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination Look Like
To start off, you are not required to come out about your orientation to your coworkers if you do not feel comfortable; this is a private and personal choice. However, it may be beneficial overall to let your company’s HR department and/or a supervisor know, especially if you suspect that you are facing discrimination or harassment. By making it known, you are giving your company a chance to right their wrongs, and it’s possible they may claim ignorance of your sexual orientation, and as a result claim they were incapable of resolving any discrimination or harassment against you.
Discrimination is not always as overt as namecalling and inappropriate jokes, although 58% of LGBTQ members report hearing derogatory comments at work.
Discrimination can come in the form of being asked not to display photos of you and your partner and being asked not to invite them to company parties. Company-provided healthcare plans usually provide coverage for married couples, and it’s illegal for your employer to deny your same-sex coverage under the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling. A sexual orientation discrimination attorney Los Angeles LGBTQ members trust can defend you and your spouse’s right to health coverage.
Another common example of discrimination is a member of the LGBTQ community being passed over for a promotion. It’s possible that you are receiving less promotions and more negative performance reviews based on your sexuality.
A gender discrimination lawyer for the workplace will also come in handy when it comes using the bathroom associated with your chosen gender identity. According to the EEOC, denying transgender workers access to facilities matching with their gender identity can constitute discrimination. Transgender workers have the right to use whichever bathroom they choose, without being forced to provide medical or legal documentation. Additionally, they cannot be asked to use a restroom separate from other employees.
Filing Your Complaint
Your sexual orientation and gender identity should not serve as roadblocks to your career, and recent legislation is on your side regarding discrimination on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. The office of Mann & Elias is a sex discrimination law firm who Los Angeles locals rely on when prosecuting their workplace for any discrimination and termination for unfair reasons.
You can start off by trying to handle the matter internally with HR, but if that doesn’t go anywhere, then you have external resources on your side. Filing a complaint with the EEO is the best way to get the discrimination to stop for you, and it can also keep others in the future from suffering the same treatment. Fallout from these complaints can result in monetary compensation as well as changes to company policy and training.
An attorney at Mann & Elias can help you go about filing your complaint so that it’s handled as quickly and as seriously as possible. If you feel you have been discriminated against and don’t know when to contact a lawyer, it’s better to act sooner rather than later, as statues of limitations are different across the states. 180 days is the most common statute of limitations for gender and sexuality-based discrimination.