What Are the Rights of LGBTQ+ Employees?

LGBTQ+ flag gavel

If you are a member of the LGTBQ+ community and are entering a new workplace, you must understand your protected rights under city, state, and federal law. This lets you easily detect if your new employer ever violates them. Read on to discover your rights as an LGBTQ+ employee and how a seasoned New York sexual orientation discrimination lawyer at Bell Law Group can help you take proper action if they are violated.

As an LGBTQ+ employee, what are my rights?

Of note, city, state, and federal law may enforce varying rights for LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace.¬†For example, in New York City, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against any employee based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation. This also includes an employee’s actual or perceived gender identity, gender expression, or an employee who is intersex.

Secondly, New York State has established what is known as the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA). Similar to New York City law, this Act prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment. But a subset to SONDA is that it also offers asexuality protections.

Also in New York State, there is the Gender Expression Non-Discirimination Act (GENDA). This Act goes hand in hand with SONDA by prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression. And GENDA specifically defines gender expression as an employee’s, “actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expressions, or other gender-related characteristics regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth.”

Lastly, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects employees based on certain classes. While this Act was originally established to protect classes such as race, religion, and sex, many cases have gone all the way to federal court to claim that it also applies to sexual orientation.

What should I do if my employer violates my rights?

Now that you understand the laws in place to protect your sexual orientation, you must reflect upon whether this has ever been discriminated against in your workplace. Importantly, you may either have been the victim of such discrimination or you simply witnessed it. Regardless, if you believe such discrimination has occurred, then you must report it to your Human Resources Department and/or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Further, you may even consider filing a lawsuit against your discriminatory employer. You must also understand that it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for bringing this complaint forward; so this fear should not deter you from fighting for justice.

Regarding your employment discrimination claim, there is no time like the present to get started. So please reach out to a competent New York discrimination lawyer from Bell Law Group today.

Get Your Free Consultation