What Laws Protect LGBT Workers? 

Discrimination is prejudice or illegal treatment directed toward people based on their protected class. Discrimination is also perpetually changing, following shifts in culture and societal norms. 

People who perhaps frequently experience discrimination in the workplace these days are those who belong to the LGBT community. With more people openly identifying as a member of the LGBT community, LGBT discrimination at work has become a serious issue that deserves attention. 

All employees in the workforce deserve to be judged or evaluated based on merit, not the protected class to which they belong. The good news is that if you are a member of the LGBT community and have experienced discrimination at work, you have rights.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against race, sex, ethnicity, etc. What many people do not know, however, is that the Act has recently been revised to include discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or transgender status. The federal laws, unfortunately, might not protect you in every instance. 

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) directly protects New Jersey employees against employment discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation. The law prohibits discrimination of any individual in a protected class. 

What Are Some Indications That Discrimination Is Happening at Work? 

A clear indication of employment discrimination is when a person of a protected class, such as a person in the LGBT community, is passed up for a promotion in spite of having met the required qualifications. Promotions, however, are not where discrimination ends. 

Adverse hiring practices, wrongful termination, and sexual harassment are all prohibited by law. In fact, any differential treatment that goes against a member of a protected class is prohibited. Basically, any hostile or unfavorable work environment that takes place because of your membership to a protected group is illegal.  

An employer must also take action if a discriminatory situation or hostile work environment is experienced by an employee of a protected class. If the situation is not resolved or corrected by the employer, the employer is considered a part of the problem. Furthermore, an employer cannot take retaliatory action as the result of a complaint regarding employment discrimination.  

How Difficult Is it to Prove Discrimination?  

Direct evidence might be difficult because it includes conversation or written documentation that most likely will not be available. Circumstantial evidence is usually the route a person needs to take. Presenting clear facts and conditions that show a pretext for discrimination is what a plaintiff must present. 

Adverse actions or treatment must exist. For instance:

  • You are more qualified than the person who received the promotion for which you applied.
  • You were denied a raise, yet a raise was given to someone who is outside your protected class and holds the same position as you.
  • You have been harassed or ill-treated, and the harassment or ill-treatment is specific to your protected class.

South Jersey LGBT Harassment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Represent Workers of the LGBT Community

If you have been harassed or have been passed up for a raise or promotion at work because you belong in a protected class, having an experienced lawyer is critical. Speak to one of our South Jersey LGBT harassment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC for legal assistance. Call us at 856-235-7075 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.