In a perfect world, everyone would be treated fairly, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Although federal law makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against current or potential employees based on gender, race, religious beliefs, and other characteristics, laws regarding LGBTQ discrimination are left to each individual state. While LGBTQ workers in New Jersey are protected under the state’s Law Against Discrimination, this class of employees is not fully protected from discrimination in the workplace in every state. However, that may be about to change.
Supreme Court Takes on Workplace Discrimination Cases
The Supreme Court recently took on three cases with the purpose of resolving whether members of the LGBTQ community can be fired on the basis of their gender expression. Since there is no law that clearly prohibits discrimination based on a person’s gender identity, the Supreme Court will be focusing on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which asks whether discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited.
What Constitutes Workplace Discrimination?
Workplace discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic. Workplace discrimination includes scenarios such as:
- Hiring certain employees based on preferred age, race, or gender.
- Denying certain employees benefits.
- Discrimination when it comes to promotions.
Whether an employee is a current employee or a potential employee, they are protected under federal anti-discrimination laws, yet the LGBTQ community is not.
State Laws on LGBT Discrimination Differ
Discrimination in the workplace on the basis of a person’s LGBT status is prohibited in New Jersey under the state’s Law Against Discrimination. Unfortunately, many other states continue to allow workplace discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision that the Supreme Court makes can have a significant impact on LGBTQ members and their civil rights. The deadline for the three case decisions is June 2020.
Dealing with Discrimination in the Workplace
Discrimination in the workplace is not an easy thing to go through, but there are steps you can take to get you through it:
- Before taking legal action, you should first bring your concerns to your supervisor. Because there are laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment in the workplace, your supervisor is your first line of defense.
- If your supervisor does not take proper action to stop the discrimination or harassment, go to your company’s human resources department, if one exists. Note that by law, your employer cannot fire you or take steps to retaliate against you if you decide to report illegal activity, including discrimination or harassment.
- Document each incident. It does not have to be fancy, just be sure that it is legible. Include the date, approximate time, what was said or done, and any witnesses involved.
- If the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, contact an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Mount Laurel Employment Discrimination Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Represent Members of the LGBTQ Community
You should never tolerate discrimination from a co-worker or supervisor. If you believe you are being discriminated against based on a protected characteristic, such as your sexual orientation or gender identity, you need a lawyer that can get you the compensation and peace of mind you deserve. To arrange a free consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable Mount Laurel employment discrimination lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC, contact us online or call 856-235-7075 today. We represent clients throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.