LGBTQ Employees

All employees deserve to work in an environment where they can thrive. All employers should encourage a culture of respect, inclusion, and diversity. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case – as members of the LGBTQ community know all too well.

Far too often, LGBTQ employees experience adverse employment actions like:

  • Job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Retaliation for calling out an employer’s discriminatory practices against LGBTQ employees
  • Harassment by co-workers that goes unaddressed
  • Many other adverse and unlawful employment practices on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

While that is the unfortunate truth, the good news is that the law is evolving, and protections for the LGBTQ community are growing. As an LGBTQ employee, you are entitled to assert your rights, and you deserve a workplace that respects those rights. At Outten & Golden, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys are here to help.

Title VII and the Landmark Bostock Decision

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. As initially written, it did not specifically list sexual orientation or gender identity as protected categories. 

In 2020, however, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, wherein it held that the prohibition against sex discrimination outlined in Title VII did extend to prohibiting employment discrimination against an individual based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

As a result of this ruling, LGBTQ employees across the country can not only file complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) but can also pursue various other pertinent federal causes of action to seek recourse for unlawful discrimination in the workplace. Additionally, depending upon jurisdiction, local and state laws may apply, which prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Title VII includes a broad range of protections for LGBTQ employees. According to Title VII, employers cannot discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity with regard to:

  • Promotions or demotions
  • Salary, overtime, commission, or other compensation
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Termination or furloughs
  • Work assignments
  • Benefits
  • Training
  • Any other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

There are, of course, numerous other instances in which LGBTQ employees might need legal counsel. All employees deserve to work in a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. All employees deserve to feel encouraged, respected, and valued for who they are and what they contribute to the workplace.


At Outten & Golden LLP, we are committed to protecting and defending the rights of LGBTQ employees across all industries. We have extensive experience in workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, wrongful termination claims, and many other causes of action relating to employee rights.[*]

If you are an LGBTQ employee and need legal guidance regarding an employment issue, we're here to help. Please contact us to discuss your circumstances with a knowledgeable and experienced Outten & Golden attorney.

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)