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Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm

Call The Right Attorney

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Gender Identity Discrimination

Transgender Employees Face High Risk Of Discrimination

Workers’ identities and gender expression are highly personal matters. Unfortunately, many employees who are transgender or gender fluid may work with coworkers or managers who fail to respect their identities – and their legal rights.

Access to justice is important. At Spitz, The Employee's Law Firm, our attorneys work fiercely to protect our clients from employment discrimination, including on the basis of gender. We take transgender discrimination claims seriously, giving our clients the level of attention and advocacy they deserve.

How Transphobia Can Lead To Discriminatory Acts

Transgender discrimination in the workplace can occur in many forms, such as:

  • Transphobic slurs or comments, including intentional deadnaming
  • Sexual assault or harassment, which may be related to fetishizing transgender workers
  • Passing up an employee for a promotion because they are transgender
  • Paying transgender employees less than cisgender employees
  • Terminating a worker primarily based on gender
  • Refusing medical leave for procedures, surgeries or therapy
  • Forcing a transgender employee to present as the gender they were assigned at birth rather than their true gender
  • Discriminating against cisgender gender nonconforming employees out of the mistaken belief that they are trans

Many forms of transgender discrimination may be subtle, but they can all have a significant impact on your life and career. As with other types of discrimination, it can make you feel unsafe at the workplace, reduce your earnings or threaten your job prospects.

Trusted Advocacy For Transgender Workers

With extensive resources and an expanding reach, our law firm has a passion for taking on employers – including large, powerful corporations. Whether discrimination involves outwardly offensive remarks or hidden wage discrepancies, we can investigate your employer’s actions to highlight violations of your rights.

Our LGBTQ clients trust our lawyers to do what is right for their interests. We value inclusivity, respect and transparency throughout the process of reporting discrimination and filing lawsuits as necessary. You should always be able to feel comfortable with the professional who represents you.

Get A Free Consultation Call Us Today

Frequently Asked Questions About Transgender Discrimination

Everyone deserves to work safely, and when your rights are being infringed on because of bigotry or small-minded supervisors, we know how frustrating it can be. Here are a few of the most common issues we see at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm.

Does Ohio protect against discrimination based on my gender identity? Can I sue because I’m a transwoman, transman, nonbinary, or some other gender identity?

Gender Identity Discrimination Attorney: Currently, not all states ban discrimination based on gender identity.  Although this area of legal protections is emerging in the country, Ohio is still one of the states that there is work left to be done.  However, there are protections federally for the private-sector employee due to the Supreme Court decision in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This decision protects transgender people from discrimination under federal law. So yes, there are per se protections federally that we as Ohioans can take advantage

If I wanted to file a claim because I have been discriminated due to my gender identity in federal court, how long do I have? Do I still have time to sue my employer for LGBTQ discrimination?

Gender Identity Discrimination Attorney: In order to file a claim in federal court, you or your attorney would have to file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) first.  Because there is no corresponding state law in Ohio that protects against transgender discrimination, you or your employment lawyer would have to file within 300 days from the date of termination.  Although termination is normally the date we go by, each case is different.  So, if someone experiences what they believe to be discrimination because of their gender identity, they should contact our transgender discrimination attorneys immediately to protect your claims.

Can I make a claim for sexual harassment if the harasser is harassing me due to my gender identity or perceived gender identity? Can I sue if I have been victimized by “trans panic”?

Gender Identity Discrimination Attorney: Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment that is motivated by gender identity is also illegal under Title VII. Sexual harassment can occur when a boss, manager, or supervisor offers to trade job benefits or job security for sexual favors – such as a promotion for blowjobs or not being fired as long as you are having sex with him or her. Employment lawyers call this quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Another form of sexual harassment is hostile work environment sexual harassment. While hostile work environment claims cannot be based on one or two stray remarks, courts in Ohio will weigh the frequency and severity of remarks about your physical appearance and/or genitalia; comments or discussions about sex; improper touching, especially touching of a sexual nature; sending, showing or sharing naked or sexually explicit pictures, stories, or jokes; and other similar conduct.

In addition, sexual harassment can also happen when the harasser begins to harass you based on your gender based off either fetishizing your status as a transgender person or gender nonconforming person. Federal law sees no difference between fetishizing someone based on their gender identity or presentation and fetishizing someone for belonging to another protected class, such as race. It is still sexual harassment if your harasser begins to harass you based on your actual gender, then discovers that you are transgender and becomes incredibly hostile to you out of a bigoted belief that they have been “deceived”. So-called “trans-panic” is no excuse for sexual harassment or transgender discrimination under federal law.

What if I am a cisgender person who has been discriminated against by someone who mistakenly believed that I am transgender? Can I sue to have my rights vindicated?

Gender Identity Discrimination Attorney: One does not have to be transgender to suffer transgender discrimination. Federal law bars from someone discriminating against you because that person believed you are transgender. It does not matter if that person was incorrect about your gender identity, it matters that they had a discriminatory motive. This principle protects the rights of people who present themselves in a way that does not conform with gender norms, people who are intersex, or anyone else who has been mistaken for a transgender person.

Are there any advancements in Ohio for bringing protections for someone discriminated against because of their gender identity? How can we push for more employment law protections for LGBTQ members?

Gender Identity Discrimination Attorney: As discussed by our lawyers above, the law in Ohio is emerging in this area.  Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion under EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., discussing gender discrimination as it relates to transgender discrimination in the workplace.  Although the case centered around transgender rights, the case also has provided tremendously positive arguments that correlate to sexual orientation.

Can my employer force me to dress and present as the gender I was assigned at birth rather than my actual gender?

Gender Identity Discrimination Attorney: The US Supreme Court agreed with the Sixth Circuits holding in EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. in that it is illegal for an employer to mandate that a transgender employee present as the gender said employee was assigned at birth.

We Are Committed To Protecting You

Transgender employees deserve justice when employers discriminate or create hostile work environments. Spitz, The Employee's Law Firm, is dedicated to providing equal justice to all clients.

For a consultation, call or email us. With several locations across Ohio, our accomplished team is prepared to fight for you.

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