Can LGBTQ Employees File Discrimination Claims?
The LGBTQ+ community has constantly faced discrimination in workplace settings. But after an uphill battle, gay rights advocates experienced a major victory in June 2020 when the Supreme Court ruled that federal laws now forbid job discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status. If you believe you were discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, you can file a claim against your employer to end discrimination in your workplace.
Employment Laws that Protect LGBTQ+ Workers
The Supreme Court said that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person’s sex, will now cover sexual orientation and transgender status. As the Court explained, “discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails discrimination based on sex; the first cannot happen without the second.”
It means that an employer cannot fire an employee because she is a woman who is married to a woman since the employer wouldn’t do the same for a man married to a woman. Suppose an employer fires an employee because that person was identified as male at birth but uses feminine pronouns and identifies as a female. In that case, the employer can face serious legal consequences.
What to Do if You Think You Have Been Discriminated Against
Both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act (Title VII) make it illegal for an employer to:
- Fail to hire
- Or otherwise discriminate against you because of your sexual orientation or gender expression
If you believe you are being discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, you can exercise your rights to prevent discriminatory acts from happening to another worker. You can file a claim against your employer with the help of an attorney and obtain the compensation you deserve.