What To Do If A Coworker Is Harassing You Because Of Your Sexual Orientation

If you are being harassed by a coworker at work because of your sexual orientation, there is help available. There are many ways harassment or discrimination because of sexual orientation can occur. Often, it is caused by the insensitivity of a coworker, manager, or supervisor. If you suspect you have been the victim of harassment because of sexual orientation, you should talk with an employment lawyer who is licensed to handle such claims in your state. With a lawyer representing you, you can have the harassment put to a stop.

What is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Sexual orientation discrimination includes being harassed or being treated differently because of your real or your perceived sexual orientation. This can occur regardless of whether the individual is gay, heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, asexual, pansexual, or so forth. Depending on where you work, it could be illegal in your workplace. The harassment could also take place because of your association with someone who has a different sexual orientation. Someone who suffers harassment based on sexual orientation could be discriminated against or harassed based on their gender identity, sex, disability, or marital status.

Different Kinds of Discrimination

There are different kinds of discrimination that one may suffer. Often, it involves different treatment. This may mean that you aren’t hired, you don’t get a promotion that you deserve, you aren’t disciplined, or you are fired just because your boss believes you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, pansexual, asexual, or so forth.

You may be subjected to harassment because of your orientation or your affiliation with others of different orientation. If you are forced to suffer from unsolicited comments about your sexual activity, mannerisms, sexual jokes, are pressured for dates, asked for sexual favors, or are a victim of sexual assault or rape, you are a victim of harassment. Gestures, leering, grabbing, pictures negatively depicting a specific sexual orientation, or other behaviors are some kinds of harassment. You may be harassed by a coworker, customer, employer, manager, or supervisor while you are on the job. The harasser could be of the same or opposite sex.

How Are You Covered By The Law?

You are protected by laws that prohibit harassment or discrimination. Sexual orientation isn’t protected by federal laws in the same way that sex, religion, race, color, age, national origin, age, and disability are protected for private employers. There are about two dozen states that don’t have anti-discrimination laws that provide protection for those who suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

There is legislation being introduced to Congress, which has not yet been passed, that is designed to protect LGBTQ individuals. The Equality Act was passed by Congress on May 17, 2019 that would amend that Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, or the related medical condition of the individual as well as because of sex-based stereotypes.

The EEOC was enacted to provide protections to workers and to help put a stop to harassment and discrimination. There are specific protections offered through the EEOC, and if your employer violates it, then you can file a claim against them. They can be punished for such violations, and you may even have grounds for a lawsuit in which you can recover civil damages. The EEOC enforces and administers civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC investigates complaints of discrimination on the basis of an individual’s race, gender, national origin, age, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or national origin. The EEOC also investigates complaints regarding employer retaliation for employees reporting the participation in discriminatory practices.

How Can An Attorney Help

If you have been the victim of harassment in the workplace because of your sexual orientation, you should enlist the help of an employment lawyer who handles such cases. Your odds of a successful claim against your employer for harassment from a coworker because of sexual orientation will increase greatly when you have an experienced lawyer representing you.

When you hire an employment law attorney, you will not have to pay anything up front. The lawyer will not be paid until you win your claim for discrimination and harassment in the workplace. You will take all your supporting documentation and evidence to your lawyer and together, you will consolidate it to build a case on your behalf. Schedule your free case review with an employment lawyer who is licensed in your state today.


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