Passed by the United States Congress in 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on one or more factors. One of the factors is sexual identity and since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many states have strengthened the legal protections that make discrimination based on sexual identity illegal.
If you face discrimination in the workplace because of your LGBTQ+ status, you have the right to file a claim with your state’s employment agency, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
However, the first step for preventing discrimination based on your LGBTQ+ status involves sending a discrimination complaint letter to your company’s human resources department.
When you file your LGBTQ+ complaint letter, you should include several important pieces of information. You also need to report LGBTQ+ discrimination at work before the expiration of the statute of limitations.
Each state has established a deadline for filing a workplace discrimination claim. A written complaint is more effective than a one-on-one conversation because you leave a paper trail confirming your desire to have your discrimination case handled by the company’s human resources department.
Above all, follow the company’s instructions listed in the employee manual for addressing discrimination in the workplace.
Start your discrimination complaint letter with a clear subject line such as “Official Complaint of Discrimination.” Then, state your name and position, as well as the name and position of the HR representative receiving the LGBTQ+ complaint letter. Express why you are writing the letter, which in your case is because you have suffered discrimination in the workplace because of your LGBTQ+ status.
The body of your LGBTQ+ discrimination at work complaint letter contains the specifics of your case. Make sure the language you use is clear, without sugarcoating any of the descriptions of the discrimination you have faced at work. Include the date, time, and locations of every act of discrimination, as well as the name of workers that witness the acts of discrimination.
Include supporting evidence that might include security camera footage and any documents created and signed by the other party.
It is crucial for you to keep the language you use professional in tone, especially during the conclusion to your discrimination complaint letter. Thank the human resources for conducting an investigation into your LGBTQ+ discrimination letter, as well as making it clear that you look forward to a timely response to your complaint.
After consulting with an employment lawyer, you might add a sentence that lets the human resources manager know that if you do not receive a response within a certain number of days, you will take other steps to resolve your discrimination complaint.
February 6, 2021
Myra Harris, IT Support
Angela Montgomery, Human Resources Manager
Re: Formal Complain of Discrimination in the workplace
This letter concerns several acts of discrimination at work that I have experienced dating back the past two years. The discrimination started as verbal insults that eventually turned into overt acts of exclusion and disciplinary measures.
On August 24, 2020, my supervisor, Jeffery Turnball, told me that I would never have the opportunity to advance into management because the company does not promote “gay people.” Two weeks later during a department meeting, I found a note on my desk that stated, “Gay people are not meant for management.”
On September 9, 2020, I had my annual performance review. I expected to discuss my opportunities for advancing in the company, but Mr. Turnball abruptly cut me off by saying, “I already told you, we do not reward gay people with promotions.” I have attached the document that describes my performance review, which includes the sentence, “not eligible for the promotion.”
This is a clear case of discrimination that I want to be handled by the human resources department. I am ready to enlist the help of an employment law attorney to pursue a claim of discrimination at work with the EEOC or the state employment agency.
What You Can Do Next
If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace because of your sexual identity or orientation, you have the right to submit an LGBTQ+ discrimination claim. Before you get involved in the legal process for settling a discrimination claim, send your human resources manager a complaint letter that details the specifics of your case.
Get the help of an employment law attorney today by filling out the free case evaluation form. Your lawyer can help you draft a persuasive LGBTQ+ discrimination complaint letter.