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LGBT Employment Rights: Can I Be Fired For Dressing Too Masculine?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2015 | Employment Discrimination, Gender Discrimination, Wrongful Termination |

Best Ohio Employment Discrimination Lawyer: Can I be fired for being gay? What can I do if my employer discriminates against me because of my sexual orientation? I want to sue my employer for wrongful termination?

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Anyone that has read our employment discrimination attorneys‘ blogs on LGBT employment discrimination knows a few things. We hate any form of employment discrimination. Many states have express laws against discriminating against members of the LGBT community, but Ohio and the federal government do not have express laws protecting the LGBT from employment discrimination. (see Can My Employer Discriminate Against Me Because I Am LGBT? I Need A Lawyer.; Can My Job Discriminate Against Me Because Of My Sexual Orientation?; Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination: ENDA In Sight?).

But, that does not mean that there is no employment protection for members of the LGBT community. Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio R.C. § 4112.99 provide for gender discrimination law that protect employees from being discriminated or harassed for not conforming to gender stereotypes. (see Top Attorney Answer To: Do I Have A Wrongful Termination Claim If I Am Treated Differently For Not Conforming To Gender Stereotypes?). These gender stereotype rights flow from the Supreme Court of the United States‘ decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins back in 1989. In that case the Supreme Court held that Title VII makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee for that employee’s failure to conform to the gender stereotype. In Price Waterhouse, Ann Hopkins was a senior manager in an office of Price Waterhouse. Her partnership was delayed and then denied because Price Waterhouse partners was described her as being too “aggressive” and not behaving in a sufficiently feminine manner. While some partners praised the Ann’s “strong character, independence and integrity,” others told her that she needed to take “a course at charm school.” The Supreme Court held that this was illegal: “Impermissible stereotyping was clear because the very traits that she was asked to hide were the same traits considered praiseworthy in men.”

My supervisor fired me when she learned that I was homosexual. To learn more about your employment discrimination rights and potential wrongful termination claims call attorney Brian Spitz and the employment law lawyers at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm for a free initial consultation.

From here, the law developed to, in some cases, protects a man from discrimination from his boss for acting too feminine; or a woman from wrongful termination because she dresses too masculine.

When I’m am out socially and talking with friends and colleagues, many question why these laws are even necessary because they don’t really think that this type of discrimination occurs all that frequently. So, here I am on Easter Sunday, reading the news and come across the headline about a school principal that told her students: “Girls wear dresses.” Now, this is not an employment law case. It is about a principal that would not let a lesbian honor student wear a tuxedo to her prom. There are a lot of things that struck me about this. First and foremost, this is supposed to be an educator that is expected to teach our next generation about tolerance and equality. Shame on you.

Can you imagine your boss coming to you and saying, “Women wear don’t wear suits.” I hate when bosses, managers, or supervisors tell you what a woman cannot do.

How about the comment that the principal “fears faculty would refuse to supervise the prom if girls wore tuxes”? This is the equivalent of a saying that I have a lot of factory workers that do not like to work with Black people. So, I am not racist – I am just catering to the racist preferences of my employees.” Clearly, if these racist, sexists, or LGBT biased employees refuse to do their jobs, just fire them.

But, the thing that got me the most is the amount of comments that sided with this god-awful principal. For examples:

Mdjake wrote: “Now that I have slept on this for several hours, I think they should allow her to go to the prom in her tuxedo and look foolish. I’m sure that all or most of the student body and faculty already knew or assumed that she was gay, anyway. If she wants to make a spectacle of herself, let her. However, if she had any sense of decency she would have had her coming out party at another time and venue rather than detracting from the school prom. She could have worn a classy pantsuit for this one occasion a la Ellen Degeneres, and by the way, Ellen’s ‘wife,’ Portia DeRossi still dresses like a woman despite being gay. This person could have made a small sacrifice for one night. Gay or not, it’s all about getting attention whatever the cost, otherwise this story doesn’t get media attention. … Perhaps someone should ask her if she stops for red lights and stop signs or does she feel that because she is gay she shouldn’t have to.” Well, I’m not sure that I would stop if you were in cross-walk. Being who you are is not making a spectacle of yourself.

walker1234 wrote: “5ptsFeatured
wortewrontIt’s called authority, the absence of which is anarchy. A concept that’s worked for ages.” I am pretty sure that the old authority is that Blacks could be owned, women could not vote, and immigration was denied based on religious beliefs. That authority was challenged and we have not devolved into anarchy.

White Men: Powerful Oppressors Or Easy Targets wrote: “What if the good loving parents don’t want their kids dancing with kids of other races and don’t want their kids cross-dressing?” I think your screen name removes any chance for credibility. But, the fact that someone would even use this name let’s you know that there are horrible people out there. And, some of them are bosses, managers, and supervisors.

CLEtoHOUBandGuy: “Maybe there are negative reactions already by the students at the school. You don’t know that there aren’t. I could probably go to that school and find 15 students who are OK with it, and 15 who have a problem with it. The principal’s job is to make the best decisions possible for the well-being of the students at the dance.” Yes, good point – instead of teaching our next generation of employers about tolerance, teach them that their irrational prejudices will be supported and catered to.

Tim Sanderford, a Top Commenter from West Monroe, Louisiana, wrote: “Pants suits are not accepted attire for females at formal events. Nor would dresses be for males.” Hilary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice regularly wear pants suits. It did not impact their abilities to accomplish anything, nor did not stop their contemporaries from working with them. If you don’t like dancing with a woman in a tuxedo, just go to the opposite end of the floor.

If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have was wrongfully fired or terminated today;” or “I have been discriminated against because I am …” gay, a lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered; or even think that you might need an employment law lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Your employment rights are constantly changing and the best way to find out if you can sue your boss, manager, supervisor or employer for discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination is to call Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and talk to its attorneys, who are experienced and dedicated to protecting the rights of employees just like you.


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