Is sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination illegal? Should it be? In this blog post I will discuss legislation to amend the federal Civil Rights Act to include prohibitions on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.
Many states and localities prohibit bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation, as well as harassment on the basis of one's sexual orientation. Fewer extend those protections to cover sexual identity. Protections at the national level are limited.
It is an unfortunate reality that there are few legal protections to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation. Although some states have enacted statutes prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, Georgia has not yet done so. There is also currently no federal law that specifically forbids this type of conduct.
With an amicus brief filed on Friday, the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to essentially legalize anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. The brief, from Solicitor General Noel Francisco, argues federal prohibitions on employer discrimination do not extend to protect individuals from being fired or otherwise disenfranchised in the workplace because of their sexual orientation. Title VII is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion or national origin. Earlier this month, the Justice Department submitted another brief asking the Justices to conclude that Title VII does not protect transgender people from employer discrimination.
On January 21,Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act that will prohibit discrimination on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation. Effective January 1,the amended Act specifically prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation and certain financial transactions. Sexual orientation is defined as an individual's "actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender-related identity, whether or not traditionally associated with the person's designated sex at birth.
Sexual orientation and gender identity employment discrimination laws are constantly changing, both at the legislative and judicial levels. While Massachusetts law prohibits both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, many states do no not. Notably, inMassachusetts became only the second state in the country to ban employers in both the private and public sector from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
In this June 26,file photo, a man holds a U. Ashley Wong. This story was published in partnership with the Columbus Dispatch.
New York state law prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual because of his or her sexual orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is treated differently based on his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation whether homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. It is important to note that it does not matter if your employer's perception of your sexual orientation is right or wrong.
Federal employees have 45 days to contact an EEO Counselor. Sex discrimination involves treating someone an applicant or employee unfavorably because of that person's sex. Discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII.
Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is subjected to negative employment action, harassment, or denial of certain benefits because of their sexual orientation, or the sexual orientation of someone they are close to. Sexual orientation discrimination has been part of the workplace in America for decades, and while federal, state and local laws, as well as increased social awareness have improved the situation dramatically, many people who are not heterosexual still face obstacles at work related to being gay, bisexual, asexual, or pansexual. It is important for employees to have the right information about what constitutes discrimination based on sexual orientation, what constitutes harassment, and how sexual orientation discrimination can tie in with other prohibited forms of discrimination like, sex, disability, gender identity, and marital status.