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 sexual orientation? Can I sue because I’m a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or some other sexual orientation at all?
Transgender Discrimination Attorney: Currently, not all states ban discrimination based on this class. 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 that started with The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. This leads to protection in employment discrimination federally for discrimination based on someone’s sexual orientation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. So yes, there are per se protections federally that we as Ohioans can take advantage of.
Can I make a claim for sexual harassment if the harasser is the same sex as me? Can I sue for man on man or woman on woman sexual harassment?
Transgender Discrimination Attorney: Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment. Same-sex harassment 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.
If I wanted to file a claim because I have been discriminated due to my sexual orientation in federal court, how long do I have? Do I still have time to sue my employer for LGBTQ discrimination?
Transgender 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 sexual orientation discrimination, you or your employment lawyer would have to file within 180 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 sexual orientation, they should contact our sexual orientation discrimination attorneys immediately to protect your claims.
Are there any advancements in Ohio for bringing protections for someone discriminated against because of their sexual orientation? How can we push for more employment law protections for LGBTQ members?
Transgender 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.
DISCLAIMER: These answers do not constitute legal advice or guidance.