Not All States Protect LGBT Workers
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 6, 2014 - Every state protects workers from various forms of discrimination. However, not all states protect transgender, lesbian, gay or bisexual workers from discrimination (LGBT).
“Every state in the Union prohibits discriminating against workers based on their religion, race, national origin, gender and so forth. However, not every state offers the same kind of protection for LGBT employees,” outlines Timothy Coffey, an experienced Chicago employment attorney.
Currently, there are 21 states and the District of Columbia that do offer protection to LGBT employees from discrimination. The remaining 29 states offer nothing in the way of protection. “It is important to know what laws are in effect in the state where you live, in the event you are facing discrimination in the workplace because you are a member of the LGBT community,” Coffey adds. Understand the laws of the jurisdiction of residence.
In some instances, even with or without state laws in place protecting LGBT workers, there are numerous local laws passed by towns and cities that also protect these workers. For instance, Michigan has no state law relating to workplace discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation. However, at least two larger cities, Ann Arbor and Detroit, feature ordinances forbidding workplace discrimination towards LGBT employees.
Same-sex partners are now more high profile as they gain more legal rights. They couples may even be employed in the same workplace and be qualified to get employment benefits, such as health care. If a same-sex couple were hired to work at the same location and they signed a contract, that legal agreement mandates they get the benefits outlined in that document. Any denial of said benefits, based on discrimination, would be illegal.
Each situation is different and the circumstances in one case may not be the same as in another. In general, any discrimination in the workplace is illegal and legally actionable. “If you are in a situation such as this, consult with a qualified employment attorney who is able to advise you what protections are available for you in your state. It makes a difference on how to proceed with a possible lawsuit,” Coffey explains.
THE COFFEY LAW OFFICE, P.C.
351 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 602
Chicago, IL 60654