May 4

LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination

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frustrated manAs a country, we have come a long way in ensuring that minorities are treated with respect and equal opportunity in all walks of life. Due to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, nearly all forms of discrimination have rightfully been banned in employment practices, including discrimination on the basis of color, race, national origin, religion, and sex. In later years, this law extended to protect individuals from discrimination due to their age, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, and military status. Yet there are still strides to make regarding protection for individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ community.

Discrimination Hurts LGBTQ Individuals

Currently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interprets “discrimination on the basis of sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to cover individuals who face employment discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity; however, there is no federal law explicitly extending protections to members of this LGBTQ community. Just 16 states and the District of Columbia offer full civil rights protections to individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Many times, LGBTQ individuals face subtle forms of discrimination in the workplace. While fewer instances of blatant discrimination have been observed, LGBTQ individuals report being excluded from activities that could potentially lead to their promotion or advancement at work often. They report frequently hiding their identities, going as far as removing LGBTQ related work experience from their resumes and avoiding discussion of LGBTQ issues at work.

According to a survey conducted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) discrimination continues to affect how LGBTQ individuals lead their lives. Some go as far as concealing their identities by changing their behaviors in order to placate homophobic attitudes around them. Gay men have reported lowering their voices to sound less feminine and one even reported avoiding wearing anything but black to work. Approximately 25% of LGBTQ individuals reported some kind of discrimination at work in 2016. The survey reached nearly 900 people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans. Another study found that 90% of transgender individuals may experience ill treatment and hostility in the workplace.

If you are facing discrimination in the workplace due to your sexual orientation or gender identity, there is hope that you can seek justice and achieve a favorable solution. Congress is reconsidering The Equality Act, which seeks to extend the very same protections that exist for people of color, women, and religious minorities to people identifying as LGBTQ.  Since 2015, there have also been several important Supreme Court cases that protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals.

Likewise, you may also find resolve through the help of an experienced workplace discrimination attorney in Virginia Beach. At Bertini Law, we understand the difficulties associated with taking legal action against your employer, and work with you every step of the way to ensure the best solution possible. We also work with employers to create best practices in their businesses.  Call (757) 222-9165 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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