Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination IN PHILADELPHIA & MOUNT LAUREL

What is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Sexual orientation discrimination is when an employee is faced with negative comments, criticism, harassment, employment action, and/or denial of employment benefits based on their sexual orientation. Although sexual orientation laws have existed for years, many workers who do not identify with heterosexual relationships still are subject to sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.

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Can an Employer Discriminate Based on Sexual Orientation?

Surprisingly, there are currently no federal laws in place that protect people from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, there are some federal laws, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOC) has been applied in situations to hold that sexual orientation discrimination is unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. Furthermore, around twenty states have passed laws outlawing workplace sexual orientation and gender identity discriminations. In the event that state legislation does not protect you from workplace discrimination, there may be city-level legislation that does. The sexual orientation discrimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm can help you navigate your case.

Can an Employer ask about your Sexual Orientation?

According to the EEOC, it is illegal for an employer to make hiring or employment decisions based upon a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Also, under Title VII laws, it is considered irrelevant for your employer to ask questions regarding your sexual orientation anytime during the hiring or employment phase. The law, however, may vary depending on where you reside. If an employer questions you about your sexual orientation during an interview, consult a sexual orientation discrimination lawyer to ask if you have might have a claim against your employer.

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Is Sexual Orientation a Protected Status?

Under Title VII, sexual orientation is not explicitly stated as a protected status. Although the EEOC states that it is protected, many courts have not agreed. This can make sexual orientation discrimination lawsuits a bit tricky, as workers must often turn to state and local laws for protection instead. Zeff Law Firm and their team of sexual orientation discrimination attorneys can help determine what laws apply to your lawsuit.

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What is Gender Identity Discrimination?

Gender identity discrimination is similar to sexual orientation discrimination but refers to discrimination based on a person’s chosen gender identity. Gender identity discrimination is not currently protected by Federal Law, and some courts have not found that Title VII protections apply to gender identity. Gender identity discrimination could include firing an employee for pursuing hormone therapy, wearing clothing appropriate to their gender identity, or even using a certain restroom. Even not receiving the same type of treatment and opportunities as other employees can be evidence of gender identity discrimination. Consult with the sexual orientation discrimination lawyers at the Zeff Law Firm to review your case.

Does EEOC Protect LGBT?

The EEOC enforces Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination and clearly forbids any form of employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. These protections ensure that members of the LGBT are not hired or fired as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It further protects individuals from having to endure harassment or ridicule related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This includes requiring co-workers to use the correct pronouns and prevents the use of derogatory remarks while in the workplace. The EEOC also ensures that LGBT employees have the same access to salaries, raises, promotions and benefits that all other employees do. If you feel that you have been discriminated against in the workplace based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, a gender identity discrimination lawyer who specializes in these issues can be extremely important in determining a person’s protected status under the law.

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Is it Legal to Discriminate Against LGBT People?

In 27 states, there are no clear statewide laws that offer any protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Pennsylvania is one of these states. In 1975 and 2003, Pennsylvania governors signed executive orders prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, respectively, in state employment. Various municipalities, including Philadelphia, prohibit LGBT discrimination, and apply these protections to both public and private employees. Although there has been a lot of communication within Pennsylvania’s government to expand anti-discrimination laws to all members of the LGBT community, no laws have been officially passed. 

New Jersey, on the other hand, does have full statewide anti-discrimination protections for individuals in the LBGT community. In 1992, New Jersey implemented laws that enforce LGBTQ non-discrimination and has protected people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. The law was expanded in 2006 to include gender identity and expression.

If you feel you have been discriminated against in the workplace, contact the experienced sexual orientation discimination lawyers at Zeff Law Firm at 856-778-9700 to discuss your case.

Have Your Rights Been Violated?

We encourage you to contact our law firm for a consultation.