EEOC Rules Workplace Sexual Orientation Discrimination Already Illegal Under Federal Law

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is already illegal according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This groundbreaking decision by the EEOC declares that employment discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers is unlawful in all 50 states. The commission already found that Title VII bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity, protecting trans employees. According to the act, Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including, the Supreme Court has ruled, irrational sex stereotyping.
The EEOC states that if an employer discriminates against a gay employee for being too “feminine” or a lesbian employee for being too “butch”, this is illegal sex stereotyping. Now the commission states that, if an employer does not approve of a lesbian employee’s sexual orientation, they are objecting to the fact that a woman is romantically attracted to another woman. This objection is based on irrational, stereotyped views of femininity and womanhood. If an employer discriminates against his lesbian employee, that discrimination is based in large part on her sex, and on his anger that she does not fit into her gender role.

The EEOC also stated that, sexual orientation discrimination is “associational discrimination on the basis of sex.” When a homophobic employer mistreats a gay male employee, he does so because he dislikes the fact that his employee dates other men. This means that the employer took that employee’s sex into account while making the decision to treat him unequally. Such discrimination is obviously sex-based and illegal under Title VII.

The decision made by the EEOC only applies to federal employee’s claims as of right now but the EEOC represents private employees, as well, and helps employers and employees settle discrimination claims without a lawsuit. According to the new guidelines, all sexual orientation discrimination will be considered illegal, empowering gay private employees to lodge discrimination complaints. Until the Supreme Court weighs in, lower courts may choose to accept or reject the EEOC’s presentation of Title VII.

Unfortunately even with laws and guidelines in place workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender, age, or disability occurs all too often. If you or someone you work with feels you have been turned down for a job, terminated or discriminated against in any way in the workplace, it is advised that you contact a compassionate and experienced employment and discrimination lawyer at the Higgins Firm. We will listen to you and answer any questions and concerns you may have. We know that you work hard for your money and We will fight for you and see to it that you get the get any compensation you are entitled to for this violation of your rights. We will also make sure the people or company responsible is held accountable for their actions.

When people go to work each day to make money for their families and loved ones they expect to be paid fairly and treated with respect. Unfortunately, even though it is illegal, some companies and businesses discriminate against employees based on age, gender, disability and sexual orientation. If you feel that you have been discriminated against or fired at your workplace for any of these reasons, then it is important that you speak to a Tennessee employment and discrimination lawyer with the Higgins Firm. We will review your case and get you the compensation that is rightfully yours by law for the discrimination you have faced. You can contact us online or by calling 800.705.2121 to discuss your case and any questions you might have.

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