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Is it Legal to Discriminate Against LGBT?

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination Law

The past decade has seen history made with the legalization of same sex marriage and several states enacting various laws to protect members of the LGBT community. Various aspects of our society still discriminate against LGBT individuals through housing, healthcare, education and employment.
Anti-discrimination law in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity is a tricky thing. It all depends not only on what state you are in but sometimes even the city too. Also there are different levels of protection extended to those discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity depending on which state or municipality they are in.

What is LGBT Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination is when a specific person is treated differently in the workplace because of a certain trait that has no bearing on their performance and that treatment results in adverse employment action like unequal pay, denied promotions or positions, and wrongful termination. People can face employment discrimination based on their race, religion, gender, and in the case of LGBT individuals,  sexual orientation and gender identity.

Examples of LGBT Employment Discrimination

  • Not hiring someone because they are transgender
  • Firing someone because they begin a gender transition
  • Denying access to a restroom meant for the gender a person identifies as
  • Harassing someone because of they are gay or bisexual or because they prefer certain gender pronouns or a name that corresponds with their gender identity
  • Denying someone a promotion because of their sexual orientation
  • Denying spousal health insurance to someone’s spouse because they are the same gender

Florida LGBT Discrimination Law

There are currently no laws at the state level in Florida that explicitly protect LGBT individuals from employment discrimination, let alone any discrimination other than marriage equality. Florida is one of 17 states that have no state laws protecting LGBT individuals from employment discrimination. Even of the remaining 33 states, not all extend discrimination protection to transgender individuals or may prohibit discrimination in the public but not private sectors.

Municipal Ordinances and LGBT Employment Discrimination

While Florida has no state laws that prohibit LGBT employment discrimination, there are actually several counties and cities that have passed ordinances that protect LGBT individuals from employment discrimination. Most areas that provide employment anti-discrimination protection to LGBT individuals are major population centers that while geographically small contain more than half of the state’s population. In fact, polls have shown that around 75% of Floridians favor legally defending LGBT individuals from employment discrimination. 
Counties with LGBT Employment Discrimination Laws
The following counties prohibit discrimination in employment for sexual orientation and gender identity in both the private and public sector.

  • Alachua
  • Broward
  • Duval  
  • Hillsborough
  • Leon
  • Miami-Dade
  • Monroe
  • Orange
  • Osceola
  • Palm Beach
  • Pinellas
  • Volusia

Cities with LGBT Employment Discrimination Laws
The following cities and towns prohibit discrimination in employment for sexual orientation and gender identity in both the private and public sector.

  • Atlantic Beach
  • Boynton Beach
  • Delray Beach
  • Dunedin
  • Gainesville
  • Greenacres
  • Gulfport
  • Haverhill
  • Jacksonville
  • Key West
  • Lake Clarke Shores
  • Lake Worth
  • Largo
  • Leesburg
  • Mascotte
  • Miami
  • Miami Beach
  • Mount Dora
  • Neptune Beach
  • North Port
  • Oakland Park
  • Orlando
  • Pembroke Pines
  • Sarasota
  • St. Augustine Beach
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tallahassee
  • Tampa
  • Tequesta
  • Venice
  • West Palm Beach
  • Wellington
  • Wilton Manor

 

 

Other Counties and Cities with LGBT Employment Discrimination Laws

Sarasota County, Cape Coral, Miami Shores, and Port St. Lucie prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the public sector only.
Hypoluxo, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Royal Palm Beach prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in both the private and public sector.
Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, and Hollywood prohibit discrimination in employment for sexual orientation in the public sector only.

Federal LGBT Employee Discrimination Law

There are currently no federal laws that protect individuals from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Employment discrimination of is usually prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and protects people from employment discrimination of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, or disability but not sexual orientation or gender identity.
However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC has interpreted the protection of gender from employment discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The EEOC is the government agency responsible for dealing with employment discrimination claims in the United States. Employment discrimination claims are filed with them so that they can investigate and enforce non discrimination law.

What to do if You Have Experienced LGBT Employment Discrimination

Having to deal with employment discrimination is a frustrating process that is neither fast nor easy, but if done right can ensure that you come out of the ordeal better than you did going in. If you have encountered discrimination at your workplace due to sexual orientation or gender identity, make sure you record in detail exactly what happened as soon as possible. Details strengthen the foundation of any employment discrimination case so be sure that your are meticulous in recording the times, involved parties, etc.
Also, check to see if you are in a city or county that has passed ordinances or laws to protect LGBT individuals from employment discrimination. Be sure to note whether they protect public or private jobs. There are actually a variety of resources on the EEOC website that can help clarify things like OSHA transgender bathroom policies, lists of previous LGBT employment discrimination cases, and instructions on how to file an employment discrimination claim with them.
However, the best thing that you can do if you believe that you have an LGBT employment discrimination claim is talk to a lawyer about the legal options you have. An experienced lawyer can offer a wealth of resources and skills to prove that you have been the victim of unjust discrimination in the workplace.

Seek an Experienced Florida Employment Law Attorney

If you or a loved one have been discriminated against in the workplace based on your, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, or national origin, then do not hesitate to Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise that you will need to secure the compensation you deserve.

Contact us at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA’s offices. Please call us at 727-451-6900.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900

Florida Employment Law Attorneys