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Discrimination & Harassment

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Laws in several states specifically prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination includes differential treatment based on someone’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. All workers, regardless of sexual orientation, deserve to be treated fairly. Our firm prides itself on advancing these rights and is here to help if you believe you are being treated unfairly.

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination Details

While the federal government does not presently have a law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, both Minnesota and California are among the states that forbid employers from discriminating against employees because of their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination refers to harassment or differential treatment based on someone’s perceived or actual gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or heterosexual orientation. The laws also protect employees who are perceived as having a particular sexual orientation, whether that perception is correct or not.

Some employers may be exempt from these laws. For example, religious and certain private organizations, such as churches and the Boy Scouts, may base employment decisions on sexual orientation.

Examples of Potential Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Examples of potential sexual orientation discrimination include:

  • You are not hired, denied a promotion, or fired because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, or because your employer perceives you to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual.Your employer has denied you the same health insurance or other benefits that are available to employees of other sexual orientations.
  • Your boss or co-workers constantly make fun of you, harass you, or treat you badly because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, or because they think you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual.
  • Your boss tells you not to discuss your sexual orientation while at work.

Whether the above examples qualify as illegal discrimination depends largely on the city and state where you work since there is not an overarching federal law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination.

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