If you’re like many people, you’re well aware that discrimination exists in the workplace – including discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender expression. The Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits this type of discrimination (along with several other types), but it still happens. So what are some signs that there’s sexual orientation discrimination happening in your workplace – or that it’s happening to you? Here’s what you need to know.
Employment Decisions an Employer Can’t Make Based on Sexual Orientation
Employers cannot discriminate based on sexual discrimination – and that goes for any aspect of employment, including:
- Job assignments
- Any other term or condition of employment
If you suspect that you have been discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, you may want to talk to an employment discrimination attorney in Glendale – you could have legal recourse against your employer.
5 Signs of Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace
Sexual orientation discrimination is any type of discrimination that’s rooted in a person’s sexual orientation – it’s treating someone differently because of his, her or their real or perceived sexual orientation.
There are many signs of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, but here are five you can be on the lookout for:
- An employer refusing to hire you
- Being passed over for promotion
- Seeing or experiencing harassment
- Being fired over sexual orientation
- Being moved into a different department due to sexual orientation
Here’s a closer look at each.
Sign #1 of Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: An Employer Refusing to Hire You
Although it can be difficult to prove, an employer refusing to hire you because of your actual or perceived sexual orientation is unlawful. That means if an employer won’t hire you because you are – or because your interviewer thinks you are – gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight or any other sexual orientation, that employer is violating the law.
Employers cannot ask you about your sexual orientation, either.
Related: What is transgender discrimination?
Sign #2 of Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: Being Passed Over for Promotion
Employers cannot pass you over for promotion because of your sexual orientation. Like other forms of discrimination, this might be tough to prove – unless someone who has similar qualifications and experience is promoted over you (or someone with fewer qualifications and less experience) and you have reason to believe you were passed over due to your sexual orientation.
Sign #3 of Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: Seeing or Experiencing Harassment
Although simple teasing or the occasional joke – even if it’s offensive – doesn’t constitute harassment, more serious conduct may. When harassment is so frequent or severe that it creates an offensive or hostile work environment, or when it causes an adverse employment decision (such as someone being fired or demoted over it), it is unlawful.
Sign #4 of Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: Being Fired Over Sexual Orientation
Like many other manifestations of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, it can be difficult to prove that you were fired for your sexual orientation (or what your employer perceived as your sexual orientation). However, because it’s unlawful for an employer to fire you or lay you off due to your sexual orientation, you may have legal recourse if that has happened to you.
Sign #5 of Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: Being Moved to a Different Department
It’s not uncommon for an employer to move a worker from one department to another – say, from a customer service position to a support position. However, if that move is due to sexual orientation, you may have legal recourse. You may want to talk to a Glendale employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace?
If you believe you’ve been discriminated against due to your sexual orientation, no matter what that orientation is, we may be able to help you. Call us at 818-230-8380 now or fill out the form below – we’ll listen to your situation and offer you case-specific legal advice that helps you start moving forward.