LGBT Discrimination: Addressing Workplace Inequality in 2024

Learn about LGBT discrimination, your rights, and how Waltman Employment Law can help you fight against workplace bias and harassment. Get the support you need today.

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Why is LGBT discrimination still prevalent in today’s world? Despite significant progress in accepting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people, discrimination continues to affect many individuals’ daily lives, as noted in research carried out by organizations like the William’s Institute or the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. Whether facing prejudice in the workplace, exclusion in social settings, or even threats of violence, the struggle for equality remains a pressing issue.

LGBT discrimination is not just a social issue but a violation of fundamental human rights. Legal protections, like those in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, following a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

How do we ensure these rights are respected and upheld, particularly in places where stigma and bias still run deep?

As we delve into these complex issues, it’s important to acknowledge the work of committed legal professionals. At Waltman Employment Law, we are dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBT community, providing support and legal knowledge to those facing discrimination. This commitment is crucial in the fight for equality and justice for all, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you if you’ve faced discrimination in the workplace due to your sexual orientation or gender identity. 

What is LGBT Discrimination

LGBT discrimination refers to the unfair or unequal treatment of individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This type of discrimination can take many forms, including:

  • Harassment: Bullying or intimidating someone because they are members of the  LGBT community.
  • Exclusion: Leaving someone out of activities or social groups due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Denial of Services: Refusing to serve someone because they are members of the  LGBT community.

In the workplace, LGBT discrimination might mean not hiring someone simply because they identify as a member of the LGBT community or giving them additional assignments or lesser pay. However, in the US, starting in June 2020, following a ruling by the Supreme Court, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender workers from work discrimination. 

We can also see discrimination in access to health care, where transgender and nonbinary individuals might face significant hurdles. According to an article done by the National Health Law Program, many report experiences of mistreatment, harassment, and even denial of services when seeking medical care.

LGBT discrimination isn’t just a social issue; it can also affect mental and physical health. Studies, like one titled “Global LGBTQ Mental Health,” have shown that the stress of facing constant prejudice can lead to higher rates of anxiety, depression, and other health issues among LGBT individuals.

For a comprehensive overview of the types of discrimination and legal protections, more information can be found in Healthy Tabot’s guide on LGBTQ Discrimination.

Types of LGBT Discrimination

LGBT discrimination comes in many forms and can affect various aspects of life. Below are different types of discrimination that LGBT individuals might experience:

Workplace Discrimination

In the workplace, LGBT individuals often face harassment and unequal treatment. This can include being ignored for promotions, experiencing unequal pay, or even facing wrongful termination. Harassment can also take the form of derogatory comments and hostile work environments.

Healthcare Discrimination

Discrimination in medical settings is another significant issue. Members of the LGBT community might face refusal of care or inappropriate treatment based on their identities. For example, a medical provider might refuse to acknowledge one’s gender identity or provide substandard care. 

Housing Discrimination

In the housing market, individuals may experience discrimination that affects where they live and their financial stability. This can include refusing to rent apartments, denying mortgage loans, or unfair treatment by landlords and real estate agents.

Public Accommodation Discrimination

Discrimination in public spaces is also common. Members of the LGBT community might be denied service in restaurants, hotels, or other businesses, as highlighted by recent research done by the Center for American Progress. They might also face exclusion from events or services, further marginalizing them in society.

Legal Protections Against LGBT Discrimination

Federal Protections

At the federal level, and as stated above, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a key law that protects members of the LGBT community. It prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, which has been interpreted to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County in 2020 confirmed this interpretation.

The Constitution also provides broad protections against discrimination. Courts have continuously ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity violates constitutional rights. 

Significant court decisions continue to shape and expand these protections for LGBT individuals.

State and Local Protections

Many states and cities have enacted explicit protections for LGBT individuals. For example, in California and New York, state laws clearly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in various areas, including employment, housing, and public accommodations.

In these states, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Cities often have additional measures to protect LGBT residents. Local laws can provide further protection and support.

Understanding these federal, state, and local protections allows you to better advocate for your rights and ensure fair treatment for all.

Steps to Take if You Experience LGBT Discrimination

Contact an Attorney

As soon as you face discrimination, you should seek legal advice. Attorneys can help you understand your rights and the most favorable steps to take. Legal support can make a big difference in how you can handle and resolve the issue.

Document the Incident

It’s important to document everything. People who face discrimination are encouraged to keep records of emails, messages, and any other communications related to the discrimination. Getting witness statements from colleagues who saw or heard the incident can also be helpful. This evidence can support your case if you decide to take legal action.

Report the Discrimination

People can often report discrimination within the workplace by following the steps outlined in their employee manual or policies. Most workplaces have specific procedures for lodging complaints. Suppose internal reporting doesn’t resolve the issue. In that case, you may need to bring it to the attention of external authorities like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC, in fact, has more information about preventing employment discrimination against members of the LGBT community on its website

File a Discrimination Lawsuit

If the issue remains unresolved, you may need to file a lawsuit. Working with an experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process. An attorney can guide you through the filing process, gather necessary evidence, and represent you in court to ensure your case is strong.

How Waltman Employment Law Can Help

At Waltman Employment Law, we understand your challenges and are here to offer you the support you need. In our fight against LGBT discrimination, it’s crucial to know your rights and seek legal help when needed. Our firm has extensive experience handling employment law matters, particularly discrimination cases. We are dedicated to providing the necessary support and representation for individuals facing workplace discrimination.

We begin with an initial consultation to understand your situation. We’ll also discuss the incidents of discrimination you have faced; it’s crucial to document all incidents as thoroughly as possible so detailed records can significantly strengthen your case.

Every case is unique. So, we offer personalized support. We’ll work closely with you to understand your situation and tailor our approach accordingly. Additionally, we’re prepared to file complaints and represent you in court or during negotiations. Our mission is to help you achieve a fair and just outcome.

If you experience discrimination or harassment at work, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact Waltman Employment Law today for a free consultation to discuss your case and take the first step toward protecting your rights.