There are several ways that discrimination can take place in the workplace. If you believe that you were fired because of your sexual orientation, you may be able to pursue a claim against your employer.
As an example, you have worked at the same company for several years and you have always had good evaluations. Your employer starts making negative remarks about gay couples, and then later learns that you are in a same sex marriage. The day after your manager learns of your sexual orientation, you are fired with no legitimate reason given and without warning.
According to the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, anywhere from 15 percent to 43 percent have experienced harassment or discrimination on the job because of their sexual orientation. Only 21 states have passed laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, and only in 16 states does that law cover gender identity issues.
Here are some of the different kinds of evidence that can help your claim for being wrongfully terminated because of your sexual orientation:
- Employment contract
- Witness statements
- Document and note any negative comments made or offensive jokes about the topic
- Termination or dismissal paperwork
Can You Be Fired For Your Sexual Orientation?
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates the basic civil rights of homosexuals. The court found that sexual orientation discrimination was in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That is an Act that prohibits employers from discriminating against workers for issues such as color, race, sex, religion, or country of origin.
It can be difficult to enforce this ruling in the private sector because it is technically still legal to fire someone for sexual orientation. Up until recently it wasn’t illegal for employers to fire workers who identified as being homosexual.
Since the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates the civil rights of the individual, there have been some changes. Basically, it is still legal to fie an employee for sexual orientation if the employee works in the private sector because in that specific case state laws will override federal laws.
Of course, there are state laws that make it illegal to fire an employee simply because of sexual orientation. As an example, California passed legislation that protects LGBTQ rights and made it illegal to fire someone based on gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. In states where there are laws enacted that prohibit termination for such matters, then you can file a complaint and then the property agency will act for the violation of the law.
Some states have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are some states that have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation only. There are also those with laws that prohibit discrimination against public employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Some have laws that prohibit discrimination against public employees based on sexual orientation only.
Talk with an employment law attorney in your area who will be familiar with both state and federal laws, so he or she will be able to determine if laws were broken and if you have a case against your employer. An attorney may have a significant impact on your claim’s outcome, and will determine what laws, if any, were broken.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you think you were fired because of your sexual orientation, you should speak with an attorney in your area who handles employment law cases, such as sexual orientation discrimination. With the help of an attorney, you are much more likely to recover compensation for your damages. An attorney can review the details of your case, gather supporting evidence and documentation, and then decide how to proceed with your claim against your employer for wrongful termination.
To get your claim underway in a timely fashion, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. An attorney who handles cases pertaining to sexual discrimination in the workplace will review the details and contact you. Don’t wait, there is a time limit to filing your claim!