The United States has never been more politically, racially, and religiously divided. Due to the actions of the Trump Administration, hateful rhetoric is endangering the lives of many minority groups, including the LGBT community. Back in May, President Trump signed a new executive order that prioritizes faith and religious liberty over the safety of minorities. This “faith initiative” has the potential to invite and even facilitate discrimination in the name of religion. As a result, many advocacy groups including GLAAD and the ACLU are watching closely to see how this new law is negatively impacting the LGBT community.
However, legal protections still exist for LGBT people who face discrimination in the workplace. According to surveys, nearly 50% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people have experienced discrimination at work. While this statistic is staggering, it’s nothing compared to the 90% of transgender people who have suffered harassment and mistreatment while performing their job duties. This is incredibly unfortunate, because businesses that embrace workplace diversity are known to thrive both creatively and innovatively.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOCC), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits the discrimination of any person based on sexual orientation or gender identity. These protections supersede any local or state laws and apply to all LGBT employees.
Signs of illegal LGBT discrimination in the workplace include:
Harassing an employee for their sexual or gender orientation
Failing to hire an applicant who is a member of the LGBT community
Denying an employee a promotion or raise because they are a member of the LGBT community
Firing an employee who comes out as a member of the LGBT community
Terminating an employee who is planning to make a gender transition
Denying a transgender employee access to a restroom that reflects their personal gender identity
Harassing a transgender employee by refusing to use their new name or gender pronoun
Denying an LGBT employee spousal health insurance benefits
Providing a lower salary to LGBT employees
The EOCC is responsible for enforcing the laws that protect LGBT employees across the United States. These federal laws also prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who report incidents of harassment to human resources, file an EEOC charge, or participate in a discrimination lawsuit.
Even so, the Trump Administration has taken a proactive stand against this EOCC revision, which was established during the Obama Administration. The Justice Department, contradicting the EOCC, argues that Title VII does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Currently, the state of this law is in limbo.
Seek Effective Legal Representation
While sexual orientation and gender identity are not officially protected in Oklahoma, you can still file a lawsuit based on existing employment laws. This is particularly relevant if you’re facing harassment at work or have been wrongfully terminated due to being a member of the LGBT community. State law tends to require a higher burden of proof than federal law when it comes to proving discrimination, so it’s important to retain the services of skilled and experienced same-sex discrimination attorney in Oklahoma if you plan to take legal action.
At Mazaheri Law Firm, we can review your case and thoroughly evaluate your legal options. With our knowledge and resources, we can develop a legal strategy that can hold your employer accountable for workplace discrimination.
Contact our same-sex employment discrimination attorney in Oklahoma City at (405) 645-6022 to schedule a consultation.