New York Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyer
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Workplace discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation is never acceptable. Such conduct is unlawful, and if you've been subjected to it, you can and should take legal action to hold your employer accountable for any harm you suffered. To make an effective sexual orientation discrimination claim, you need the help of an experienced lawyer who knows how to adeptly handle your case from beginning to end.
Backed by extensive employment law experience, our attorneys at Nisar Law Group, P.C. provide the dedicated legal representation you need. When you turn to us, we'll thoroughly review your circumstances and give an honest and transparent assessment of your case. We'll let you know your legal options and the steps to take to remedy the unjust treatment you suffered.
What Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?
Sex-based discrimination occurs in the workplace when an applicant or employee is treated differently because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation – whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, or heterosexual. In June of 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (S. Ct. June 15, 2020), that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits this type of conduct. It stated that the ban on sex discrimination applied to sexual orientation as well.
Title VII applies to both private sector and public sector employers and provides that discrimination in any aspect of employment is unlawful.
An employer may be considered to have violated the law if they engaged in discrimination by doing any of the following because of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation:
- Declining an applicant,
- Denying a promotion,
- Assigning an employee to a particular role,
- Demoting an employee,
- Laying off an employee,
- Denying training offered to other employees,
- Not offering the same fringe benefits that other employees receive, or
- Engaging in any other conduct that negatively affects a person's employment
New York state law also prohibits employers from discriminating against a person because of his/her sexual orientation. The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) that was passed in 2002 bans sexual orientation discrimination, based on a definition of sexual orientation as homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, or even heterosexuality, whether actual or perceived.
Furthermore, the New York City Human Rights Law provides protection based on both sexual orientation and sexual identity. This city ordinance allows a plaintiff’s attorneys fees to be covered by an employer found to have violated the law.
What Are Examples of Sexual Orientation Discrimination?
Although laws exist prohibiting workplace discrimination based on someone's sexual orientation, this type of conduct is still apparent throughout the country.
Some examples of sexual orientation discrimination include:
- An employer deciding not to hire a well-qualified applicant because he mentioned his boyfriend during the interview.
- A restaurant refusing to hire a heterosexual server, even though they are the best candidate, because most of the patrons are homosexual.
- A supervisor writing up an employee they perceive as homosexual with no basis for the write-up.
- A colleague making sexual comments to a co-worker they know is gay.
- A company promoting only employees of a certain sexual orientation.
- A supervisor who has made sexual advances to his male subordinate and threatens to fire him if he doesn't go out with him.
What Is Sexual Orientation Harassment?
As a result of unfair or lax policies or practices, employees may suffer harassment because of their sexual orientation. Harassment is unwanted conduct that occurs frequently and is so severe that it causes a hostile work environment. It may also have harmful effects on the individual's employment, such as being fired or demoted.
Sexual orientation harassment comes in many forms and often makes the person being harassed feel humiliated or offended. Jokes, rude comments, requests for sexual favors, and unwelcome sexual advancements, among other things, can all be considered harassment. Such behaviors can be perpetrated by anyone in the company, including supervisors and co-workers. Additionally, the conduct does not have to be committed by a person of the opposite sex for it to be considered harassment.
If you've been subjected to workplace harassment because of your sexual orientation, reach out to our New York attorneys today to discuss your legal options.
Let Us Protect Your Rights Today
Our New York employment litigation lawyers can analyze your situation and develop an effective strategy to hold individuals and companies responsible for their actions. We want to stop you bearing the burden of discrimination, and we will do our best to obtain the compensation you deserve. If you have been subjected to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, we are committed to fighting for you and your right to equal treatment in the workplace.