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Have You Been Victimized by LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace?

Employment Discrimination is one of the most common issues that arise in the workplace. Most workplaces have a great deal of diversity among co-workers and unfortunately, some employers find it difficult to adhere to the laws that are in place to protect staff.

Thousands of people are affected every year by discrimination in the workplace based on their sexual identity. As attitudes about sexual identity evolves, those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) face greater risks than other minority demographics. Workplace policies are still in the process of changing, but even with increased awareness, there are situations in which a person could face discrimination based on his or her sexual identity. Fortunately, there are laws in place intended to protect members of the LGBTQ community.

Same Sex Marriage

Recent changes in laws regarding same-sex marriage have forced many employers to change their policies. Up until recently, some companies offered domestic partner benefits. Those companies were forced to update their policies to offer the same benefits to same-sex couples as were offered to other employees in recent years. Spouses of all employees are now entitled to the same survivor death benefits, including any benefits related to retirement plans offered by a company.

Discrimination Policies

Many companies have also made improvements to their discrimination policies with a focus on LGBTQ employees. According to a recent EEOC ruling, discrimination based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation are all equal forms of discrimination and should be treated as such. As societal attitudes toward the LGBTQ community continues to evolve, laws and policies regarding these employees is expected to do the same.

Many companies have instituted outreach and awareness campaigns to help LGBTQ employees feel more comfortable in the workplace and to help non-LGBTQ interact with co-workers without incident. Some have created specific workplace guidelines to help with interactions with transgender or transitioning employees, and address restroom access, dress codes, and advice about what is considered harassment.

Companies are also doing their part to encourage transgender applicants to become a part of their team by offering healthcare benefits that are targeted at transitioning individuals. The goal is to make clear that a company wants to consider all qualified applicants for a position, even if it means paying for specific healthcare issues.

For more information on what companies can do to make transgender employees feel comfortable.

What Victims of LGBTQ Discrimination Should Do

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community and you believe your employer is mistreating you, or you work for a company that you believe is mistreating a colleague who is a member of the LGBTQ community, you have a right to take action. Discrimination, regardless of the target, is illegal. For more information or to speak to someone who can explain your rights and the options you have to change your situation, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to discuss your situation.

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