Understanding The Basics of Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Every individual has the right to be employed regardless of their sexual orientation. This is a right protected by Federal and state labor laws. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discriminating an employee because they are gay or lesbian is prohibited. Unfortunately, while there are laws that exists prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, many employees are still discriminated due to their sexuality. Make sure that your workplace has policies and laws against workplace discrimination.

Sexual orientation discrimination can happen in various forms. It can be direct or indirect, or victimization or harassment. When an employee is discriminated because of their sexual orientation, they are denied of certain benefits accorded to employees. Federal laws provide workers with certain protection against workplace discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, religion, and disability. The Employment Non-discrimination Act of 2009 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Aside from Federal laws, there are also state laws that ban sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. Almost half of U.S. states have existing laws that prohibit sexual discrimination in both public and private companies. There are some states that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination only in public offices. The important thing is to make sure that the company you are working for has policies and laws in place that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. These policies should include disciplinary action against the employee guilty of discriminating an employee.

Sexual orientation discrimination can carry a lot of consequences on the part of an employee. The victim of discrimination may suffer from emotional distress or embarrassment. The first thing you should do if you are being discriminated for your sexual orientation is to inform your harasser to stop their actions. You can use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance systems to file your complaint. Your company should then take the necessary steps to address the situation.

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