In June, in a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States banned the status of someone as a member of the LGBTQ community as basis for their firing or in any way a point to discriminate against during the employment process. This landmark case has made it effectively illegal for an employer to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision came based on the protections listed in Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Before June 2020, LGBTQ individuals have not been a protected class in the law. For years, members of the LGBTQ community have experienced employment discrimination, either directly or indirectly, and now they have the protection they need.
What is Employment Discrimination?
Discrimination is a commonly used word, but few understand what it means legally. Discrimination is defined as the treatment of an individual that is different on the basis of a characteristic of that person. Discrimination can occur in many different areas of life, but employment discrimination can be one of the most financially ruining forms. Employment discrimination can consist of unfair treatment, harassment, improper questions or demand for disclosure, retaliation, or termination of employment. If you’re ever unsure of whether what you’re experiencing counts as discrimination, consult a lawyer you trust.
What to do if You or a Friend or Family Member Experience Employment Discrimination
If you or a friend has experienced employment discrimination that you believe is on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, there are actions you can take. First, you can report the infraction to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, who will investigate your claim and hopefully gain recourse. After that, one of the best ways to seek justice is to consult with a lawyer in your area about the legal options you may have as a party that has been discriminated against. Find an attorney who has a proven track record in pursuing and winning cases related to employment discrimination, and make sure it is a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable sharing your story.