Best Ohio Sexual Orientation Attorney Answer: Can You Fire Someone For Being Gay? What Does President Obama’s Recent Executive Order Mean For LGBT Employees? What Should I Do If I Was Treated Unfairly At Work Because Of My Sexual Orientation? How do I find the best wrongful termination lawyer in Ohio?
As our employment discrimination attorneys have blogged before, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) workers have surprisingly few rights against discrimination in the workplace. Under current Ohio and federal law, an employer can fire, demote, single out, pick on, or treat a gay employee unfairly without any fear of reprisal. This is because unlike race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, military status, or age, sexual orientation is not a protected class.
Congress has been trying to do something about this glaring gap in protection for gay workers for a very long time, but has lacked the political will to get any substantive reform passed. As we blogged last December, protections for gay workers hit a major milestone when for the first time in history, the Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”),which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace. However, the House has yet to vote on the bill, and many political analysts are doubtful it will pass.
Perhaps recognizing that protections for gay workers are long overdue, President Obama signed an executive order last week prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against gay workers. While this may seem like it has a limited reach, because nearly 1/5 of the American workforce is employed by federal contractors, it is expected that Obama’s order will cover nearly 11 million workers. Likewise, the order could push Congress to finally act on ENDA, and finally make sexual orientation a protected class. Indeed, with the Senate and the President supporting additional protections for gay workers, the only thing standing in the way of making a ban on discrimination against gay workers the law of the land is the Republican controlled House of Representatives.
In the meanwhile, unless you work for a federal contractor or the government, there is very little you can do if you are treated unfairly at work because of your sexual orientation. At most, a gay worker might attempt to argue that unfair treatment was because of gender discrimination or based on gender stereotypes, but that argument only works where the facts support the idea that the employer thought the worker did not act enough like “a man” or “a woman” in conformity with their gender. As such, the law currently protects metro-sexual men more than homosexual men. A guy that wears “too feminine” smelling lotion is protected from being fired for that reason, but a man that dates other men is not. Think, I’m kidding, read our gender discrimination lawyers’ recent blog about a straight guy that was wrongfully terminated for wearing “too girly” clothes. As such, it is unfortunate that if a gay worker want legal protection for his job when coming out of the closet, he better start wearing makeup or acting in a way that the boss would observe as womanly. This is absurd and offensive, but it is the state of the law in Ohio and federally.
Because so much sexual orientation discrimination is merely based on the sexual orientation of the victim, rather than how they act, this theory of liability has a fairly narrow reach.
Nonetheless, if you have been treated unfairly because of your gender or sexual orientation, it is always a good idea to call the right attorney to find out if you have any rights. This area of law is rapidly changing, and the employment attorneys at the Spitz Law Firm will continue to monitor these legal developments.
If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have been wrongfully fired or terminated;” or “I have been discriminated against based on my …” race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability; or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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