LGBTQ+ Workplace Rights

Compassionate LGBTQ+ Discrimination Lawyers Protecting Against Discrimination in the Workplace

At Outten & Golden, our lawyers take great pride in protecting and promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals’ workplace rights and in serving LGBTQ+ communities in all areas of employment law.

As an LGBTQ-friendly firm, our lawyers understand that an employee’s LGBTQ+ identity – as self-identified or perceived by others – can affect all aspects of the employment relationship, often in subtle ways. Whether we are negotiating an employment contract, litigating or negotiating a discrimination claim, or simply giving employment-related advice, we are mindful of these experiences.

What is LGBTQ+ Discrimination?

LGBTQ discrimination involves treating an individual unfavorably based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation (regardless of whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, or heterosexual) or gender identity. Notably, discrimination doesn’t require that an individual actually identify a certain way. For example, a heterosexual employee who is being harassed for being gay can still bring a successful LGBTQ discrimination lawsuit. Furthermore, discrimination can be based solely on an individual’s association with someone in a protected category; if a female employee suffers discrimination related to her transgender son, this unlawful behavior constitutes discrimination. 

According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, there are approximately 7.1 million U.S. workers who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual, and about 1 million who identify as transgender.  

What Federal Protections Do Employees Have Against LGBTQ+ Discrimination? 

In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is the federal law prohibiting discrimination based on “sex,” protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

There are also statutes protecting workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation in 22 states and the District of Columbia, while 21 states plus DC have statutes protecting against gender identity-based discrimination. 

Examples of LGBT+ Discrimination at Work

Any type of unfavorable employment action based solely on an employee’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity can be a form of LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace. This type of unlawful behavior can range from subtle to blatant and can involve discrimination and/or harassment. 

Common examples of LGBTQ+ Discrimination include: 

  • Being fired, passed over for a promotion, written up, or disciplined with no basis;
  • Unwelcome comments about an employee’s mannerisms, voice or appearance, or of a sexual nature;
  • Sexual jokes;
  • Unwelcome sexual advances;
  • Touching, groping, or grabbing;
  • Leering;
  • Inappropriate gestures; 
  • Placing inappropriate pictures, cartoons, or drawings in an employee’s workspace; 
  • Hostile comments;
  • Sexual assault; and 
  • Rape.

The person or persons doing the discrimination or harassment do not need to be your direct supervisor. Anything based on your real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity that results in adverse employment actions or a hostile work environment is unlawful. An experienced LGBTQ discrimination attorney can help you protect your rights and determine how to proceed. 

LGBTQ+ Discrimination Lawyers Fighting for Fairness and Equality in the Workplace

Our law firm is dedicated to fighting all forms of discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees. Our LGBTQ+ discrimination lawyers – some of whom are leaders in education and advocacy work concerning LGBTQ+ rights and are themselves members of LGBTQ+ communities – have successfully negotiated, mediated, and litigated discrimination matters involving:

Contact Our LGBTQ+ Discrimination Attorneys Today

If you are suffering from employment discrimination based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, it is in your best interest to consult with an employment law attorney immediately. An attorney experienced in LGBTQ+ discrimination will evaluate your situation and help you navigate the complex and highly-sensitive process of filing a claim, and bringing a lawsuit against your employer if doing so becomes necessary. Contact Outten & Golden LLP today for a confidential consultation about your case with one of our LGBTQ+ discrimination lawyers.

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