Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Now Protected From Employment Discrimination
In a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, the discrimination of employees based on their sexual orientation or their gender identity has now been made effectively illegal. The landmark ruling came with a 6-3 majority on whether or not protections of employee rights from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should cover situations involving discrimination of sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite the discrimination of employees based on a number of factors including race, age, gender, national origin, etc. LGBTQ individuals have not had the benefit of employment discrimination protections on the federal level.
There are an estimated 11 million people in the United States that identify as LGBTQ according to the Williams Institute. Despite strides forward in LGBTQ rights in recent years, many individuals that identify as LGBTQ have suffered discrimination in the workplace with no protections for years. Less than half of the states in the United States have clearly defined protection of employees from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Employee Discrimination of LGBTQ Individuals in Florida
Currently, the state of Florida has no official statutes that definitively protect employees from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. There have been attempts to remedy this in the past few years. The Florida Competitive Workforce Act was a bipartisan bill introduced in 2009 intended to officially ban the discrimination of employees based on gender identity and sexual orientation in both public and private workplaces. Unfortunately, the bill stalled at its first public hearing in 2016 with a 6-6 vote.
While Florida lacks clear statutes that protect LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination, there are a number of county and city laws and ordinances that have been put into place to protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. While there are number of cities and counties that have these laws and ordinances, these protections are anything but uniform. Before this recent Supreme Court ruling, depending on where you live or work in Florida you can face discrimination with no legal protections or precedents if that discrimination is based on your sexual orientation or gender identity. Some counties or cities might have protections for employees for discrimination based on sexual orientation but not gender identity or they might have protections against employment discrimination of this kind in the public sector but not the private sector. This is why the recent supreme court decision provides an immense benefit for those fighting cases of employment discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Federal Protection From Employment Discrimination
People in the United States received an integral form of federal protection from employment discrimination in the 60s in the form of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically, Title VII. This legislation with updates throughout the years effectively made it illegal to discriminate against employees based on the following:
- National Origin
- Genetic Information
Now in addition to these details and characteristics of employees, gender identity and sexual orientation are now included. It should also be noted that employment discrimination protections afforded by federal law extend to the discrimination of those based on association with people of certain characteristics. For example, you cannot be fired from your job because your employer discovered your spouse practices a certain religion. No employee should have to suffer discrimination in any form due to some detail or characteristic that has no bearing on how they perform their job. The problem is that despite protections being in place, many people can still suffer discrimination at their work that causes real damage to their lives.
What is Employment Discrimination?
Discrimination is a word that many people can hear thrown around and it can generally be defined as the different treatment of an individual based on certain characteristics or details of that person. Many people are treated differently based on details such as their gender, age, or race in many aspects of life ranging from schools to healthcare. In the case of employment discrimination, people suffer all kinds of less favorable treatment based on characteristics that logically don’t have any bearing on their abilities or how well they are able to do their job. Some common forms of workplace discrimination include:
- Unfair treatment
- Denial of a reasonable workplace change
- Improper questions about or disclosure
- Employment termination
What Can I do About Employment Discrimination
Many people suffer employment discrimination in a number of forms every day and they can usually take action in response. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC exists to investigate and deal with issues of employment discrimination and can look into claims filed with them. However, while they are a very useful resource, there are many cases where they can only do so much for a person that has suffered damages because of employment discrimination.
Seek an Experienced Employment Discrimination Attorney
One of the best steps to take if you feel you have experienced discrimination in your workplace is to speak to a lawyer about the legal action that you can take. They can provide a wealth of resources that can aid in your pursuit of justice. They can assist in investigating the case, evaluate evidence, guide you through the legal process, negotiate with the defendant, and much more in your pursuit of compensation.
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 Dolman Law Group about receiving a free consultation on your claim. The Dolman Law Group law team will be more than happy to sit with you and discuss the details of your case and offer some options for how you can take legal action. When you choose Dolman Law Group, you are choosing a firm that will fight aggressively to ensure that your claim is not only successful but effectively compensates the damages that you have suffered. Damages like lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of income ability. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise that you will need to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 727-451-6900.
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