LGBTQ+ workers have the same workplace rights that other groups have thanks to recent rulings by the Supreme Court.

If you’ve an LGBTQ+ community member that is being victimized or discriminated against at work you don’t have to suffer in silence. You have a Federal legal right to file a complaint against your employer for discrimination. The Supreme Court has expanded the original protections for workers in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act so that LGBTQ+ people are also now covered under those protections. That means that it’s a violation of Federal law for your employer to discriminate against you.

If you’ve been experiencing discrimination or harassment at work because you are LGBTQ+ you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is a Federal agency that operates in every state. The EEOC has an agreement to share information with 44 states as well. That means if you live in one of those 44 states and you file a complaint against an employer the labor authorities in your state will receive a copy of that complaint. They will use that complaint to start a state investigation of your employer.

Examples Of Workplace Discrimination

A few of the many ways that LGBTQ+ are discriminated against in the workplace include:

Targeted Bullying or Harassment

Bullying and harassment are the most common types of discrimination that people face at work. And while your coworkers or bosses might tell you that you’re being too sensitive or overreacting to their “jokes” you are absolutely not. They are behaving illegally. You do not have to put up with any kind of mistreatment at work. Try to get evidence of any bullying or harassment that you experience like screenshots of chats or instant messages, copies of emails, photos of texts and so on. They will make your case against your employer stronger.

Not Getting Raises Or Promotions

If you are not getting regular raises or if you are being denied the opportunity to promote that is discrimination. You must get the same raises as others and be given the chance to promote if others with similar backgrounds are given those things.

Dress Code Restrictions

Your workplace may not reinforce gender stereotypes through a dress code. That means that they can’t require women to only wear skirts or require women to wear makeup. They also can’t dictate how you may cut your hair. Dress code restrictions based on gender are discrimination.

Filing A Workplace Discrimination Claim

Before you file a claim with the EEOC it’s always a good idea to meet with your boss and your HR rep. They might not know what you’ve been experiencing at work. When you meet with them bring a list of all the times you’ve been discriminated against and copies of any evidence or documentation that you have. If your boss and the HR rep don’t say that they support you and will immediately take action to stop the discrimination then go to the EEOC’s website where you can file a complaint.

In Arizona, you can file a discrimination complaint with the Arizona Department of Economic Security. When you file a discrimination complaint on the state level in Arizona, it will be dual filed with the EEOC, that way you don’t have to file two complaints.

Remedies For Harassment And Discrimination

Employees who are victims of discrimination by an employer may receive big financial awards. You could receive money for pain and suffering or money for last wages if you were denied promotions or raises.

Useful Resources

https://www.eeoc.gov/

https://www.employmentlawhelp.org/discrimination/prove-gender-discrimination-workplace

https://www.employmentlawhelp.org/discrimination/gender/lgbtq-discrimination-complaint-letter

https://des.az.gov/how-do-i/file-discrimination-complaint

Photo courtesy of The Dinah

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Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

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