LGBT workers often face discrimination and harassment in the workplace with very few legal protections. In New York State and New York City, anti-discrimination laws ban discrimination against LGBT workers, but this is not the case in many other parts of the country. More than four in ten lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have experienced some form of employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation, and 90% of transgender employees have experienced harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job, the White House stated in a recent Fact Sheet.
A recent Executive Order, signed into law by President Obama in July 2014, seeks to improve the workplace for LGBT workers. The Executive Order prohibits discrimination against LGBT federal employees and employees of federal contractors by making two important changes to previous Executive Orders that banned other forms of discrimination, like race and gender discrimination. The new Order is effective immediately.
First, the Executive Order bans employment discrimination against federal government employees or job applicants based on gender identity, which will help protect federal workers or applicants who are transgender.
Second, the Executive Order prohibits employers that receive federal contracts from discriminating against workers based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency responsible for investigating employment discrimination claims, has interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a federal statute prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, to protect LGBT workers. President Obama’s Executive Order makes this protection explicit.
Spivak Lipton attorneys represent employees on a range of employment related matters, including discrimination. If you have experienced discrimination because of your actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation, contact a Spivak Lipton attorney today. It is important that you contact an experienced attorney immediately as specific time limits may control how much time you have to file a complaint.