head-shot-scott-defend-sexual-harassmentAssistance With Legal Employment-Related Issues For The Dallas LGBTQ+ Community

Every employee should have their performance judged based on their actions, not their sexual orientation. However, some employers do judge employees and make their hiring or promotion decisions based upon the sexual orientation of employees. Everyone inside and outside of the LGBTQ+ community deserves employment that is free from discrimination. While it shouldn’t be the case, Texas can make it tricky for cases involving straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or asexual individuals. If you are LGBTQ+ and have suffered sexual orientation discrimination in your past or present workplace, we encourage you to contact a Dallas sexual orientation discrimination lawyer such as Matt Scott.

The Scott Law Firm is committed to providing employee focused legal assistance. The mission is to help individual employees without direct cost to them. Contact or call today for a case evaluation. 214-965-9675

The Legal Basis For Claims Of Sexual Orientation Discrimination

The EEOC or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the government agency responsible for the enforcement of federal discrimination laws, which can currently include sexual orientation discrimination in certain circumstances. While sexual orientation is not specifically protected, when it is considered as a form of gender discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act can extend to the sexual orientation of individuals. Under Title VII all employers with at least 15 workers are required to not consider include sex in their employment decisions. This includes prohibitions against sexual harassment including that perpetrated by individuals of the same sex.

Under Title VII workers are protected against sexual stereotyping as well. Employers covered under Title VII cannot dictate how masculine or feminine employees may present and are not allowed to ignore harassment stemming from the presentation that is thought to be outside of accepted norms. In a 2013 ruling, the Fifth Circuit states that sex discrimination includes gender stereotype discrimination in the workplace. Another judge in Texas has noted in recent decisions that gender identity in addition to sexual orientation must be protected from workplace discrimination as well. An attorney specializing in sexual orientation-based discrimination at our Dallas firm can help walk you through the steps and possible outcomes of a case such as these.
The EEOC itself has historically considered sexual orientation as a recognized form of gender discrimination. Man federal appellate courts have recognized this as well. This is one area of the law, however, that continues to experience very rapid development. Within case law there are a number of examples where employers have been prevented from discriminating against employees for their gender or stereotypes surrounding their gender, opening more protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in the process. One recent example affirms that women cannot be terminated, demoted, or have their employments suspended because their outward appearance is not considered feminine enough or in line with their gender presentation by their employer.
Until the Supreme Court or Congress passes blanket legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals there will continue to be controversy surrounding the legal protections available to the community. We make it our business at out Dallas sexual orientation discrimination focused firm to keep up to date with the latest legal developments.

Discrimination Based Upon Sexual Orientation

There are many legislative attempts to specifically protect against LGBTQ+ discrimination. The ENDA or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Equality Act are two pieces of legislation that have been under consideration by Congress. Both would protect workers with explicit language-focused upon actual and perceived sexual orientation. In addition, some counties and municipalities have passed their own explicit laws and ordinances that prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Included among them is the City of Dallas as well as Tarrant County. Unions have included specific language prohibiting discrimination based upon sexual orientation into their collective bargaining agreements. Many employee handbooks now include promises of non-discrimination for a number of factors including sexual orientation.

Filing Charges

In order to file an employment discrimination lawsuit, the first step is to file a Charge of with the EEOC as they are charged with enforcing these laws. A charge here means a sworn statement outlining the discrimination you suffered under your employer. The charge is a formal request for the EEOC to take action. The EEOC requires a charge to be filed within a very strict time limit. Before going before the EEOC it is important to work together with an employment lawyer in order to present the strongest case. This is particularly true for LGBTQ+ cases as the evolving nature of the law makes it easy to improperly or ineffectively present your case.

Consulting With An Experienced Attorney

You should not worry that who you love will affect your ability to get a job or any other aspect of your employment. It is degrading and harmful to all involved for sexual orientation-based discrimination to occur in Texas workplaces. If you have suffered this type of discrimination then we may be able to help you move forward with your life. Please contact an experienced lawyer well versed in sexual orientation-based discrimination within the Dallas area. You can call us at (214) 305-9396 or contact us via the form on our site.

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