We’ve come a long way. And yet…
Federal civil rights laws protect people from discrimination on the basis of their gender, race, religion, national origin, color, age and disability status.
Unfortunately, neither Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 nor any other federal laws guarantee that gay people will be free from employment discrimination.
For the past several years, lawmakers on the federal level have introduced legislation called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban employers from considering sexual preference in hiring, firing or the terms and conditions of employment.
However, ENDA is a long way from passage. Similar legislation has been introduced almost every year since 1994 but has not passed.
Because ENDA has not been signed into law, there is no federal ban on discrimination against homosexuals based on their sexual orientation.
HEAR THE STORY OF ONE CLIENT’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION HARASSMENT AND HOW WE HELPED
The state of Florida also does not have laws protecting gay people from discrimination. However, individual counties have passed regulations prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
If you were the victim of discrimination, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney about whether the laws in your county protect you and about what your options are for taking legal action.
Laws Protecting Gay People from Discrimination
Because ENDA has not successfully passed, President Barack Obama recently issued an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual identity.
This means if you work for a company that does business with or provides service to the federal government, your employer is prohibited from engaging in discriminatory behavior based on the fact that you are gay.
If you live in a Florida county that has taken action to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender identity, then you may also have legal recourse if your employer treats you differently because of your sexual preferences.
LISTEN TO MY THOUGHTS ON WHETHER GAY IS THE NEW BLACK AT WORK
Counties that prohibit discrimination on the basis of both gender identity and sexual preference include but are not limited to Broward, Monroe, Orange, Palm Beach, Tallahassee, Tampa and Venice.
Counties that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual preference only and that do not address gender identity include but are not limited to Miami-Dade, Sarasota and Pinellas.
Because the rules differ depending upon where you live, it is advisable to speak with an attorney if you believe that you were treated improperly because of your homosexual status.
Richard Celler Legal, P.A. can help those who are the victims of workplace discrimination to understand your rights and to take legal action against an employer that has broken the law.