Sexual orientation discrimination is a form of discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, and Queer (LGBTQ) people. While discrimination against LGBTQ people is less socially acceptable than it was a few decades ago, it is still a serious problem across the country and here in Pennsylvania, particularly when employers cause financial harm to their employees. If you have suffered at the hand of an employer whose dislike of your sexual orientation has resulted in an unfavorable employment decision, you have the opportunity to file for civil damages. A lawyer with the HKM Employment Attorneys can assist you in filing your claim, gathering evidence, and maximizing your settlement or lawsuit award. We have been representing employees for more than 40 years and are eager to review your case today.
Common Forms of LGBTQ Discrimination
Many members of the LGBTQ community face discrimination on a regular basis, and whether it is being stared at in the grocery store or excluded from a state or federal program, it is never okay. Thousands of LGBTQ people in Pennsylvania face employment discrimination in the form of unequal pay, wrongful termination, and workplace harassment. However, any type of employment decision, based on the employee’s sexual orientation or even his or her perceived sexual orientation, that harms an employee is a form of discrimination. An employment decision can be related to any of the following:
- Job promotion
- Benefits, including vacation time, health care coverage
- Wages or salary
- Job hours, work location, and perks
- Job duties
- Promotion and demotion
Harassment includes making threats or jokes, mocking an employee, excluding or ignoring the employee, assaulting or intimidating the employee, and other negative treatment that impacts the employee’s ability to do his or her job. Additionally, a hostile work environment has been created when any of those actions are committed by co-workers of the employee, and the employer has not put them to a swift and immediate halt.
Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination Illegal in Pennsylvania?
Unfortunately, there is no state statute that prohibits employers from engaging in sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Moreover, there still is no federal law that protects workers from sexual orientation discrimination. However, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), some federal courts and agencies have recognized sexual orientation discrimination as a form of sex discrimination, which is certainly prohibited federally, as well as in Pennsylvania law. In addition, 48 local Pennsylvania governments have ordinances against sexual orientation discrimination, according to Equality Pennsylvania. With this said, you need to contact an attorney if you have been discriminated against in order to seek justice. Unlike other forms of discrimination here in Pennsylvania, a sexual orientation discrimination claim may be more difficult to prove and to win than other forms of discrimination.
A Sexual Orientation Discrimination Attorney is Available to Help You Today
We strongly encourage you to seek out legal assistance if you have been discriminated against due to your sexual orientation. Even if you are unsure if your employer or co-workers’ actions are unlawful, or if you believe that you do not have enough evidence to support your claims, you should still contact an attorney. Call the Pennsylvania HKM Employment Attorneys today to set up a consultation.