New York Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Because of Sexual Orientation

At Leeds Brown Law, P.C., we know that New York State protects workers from employment discrimination with some of the most comprehensive legislation in the country. Federal laws exist, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it unlawful to discriminate because of age, sex, race and more. But New York Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) goes even farther than federal law does, providing coverage to a broader group of employees and including several protected characteristics not available under Title VII, such as sexual orientation.

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), signed into law in 2003, placed the term “sexual orientation” on the list of characteristics specifically protected by various New York laws. NYSHRL which prohibits employment discrimination based on different characteristics such as sex and age also prohibits discrimination and harassment in the workplace against individuals because of their gender identity. Gender discrimination or sexual harassment and claims involving sexual orientation often contain overlapping circumstances.

Despite the legislation designed to stop workplace discrimination, it remains a problem. The LA Times wrote in 2013 that more than 20% of LGBT workers reported discrimination in hiring, promotions and pay. At Leeds Brown, the job of our gender discrimination attorneys is to ensure that you know your options if you experience unlawful treatment. When sexual orientation discrimination and sex discrimination coincide, we can explain and analyze your claim under every applicable law so you can make an informed decision about the best way to proceed.

Leeds Brown can you through the entire process from filing a sex discrimination claim in New York, to negotiating a fair settlement, to representing you at trial if that is what is necessary to recover the monetary damages to which you are entitled. Our gender discrimination lawyers have the skill and tenacity to build a strong case and a track record that proves we can successfully get the job done.

Employment Discrimination Because Of Sexual Orientation or Perceived Orientation is Unlawful

Under SONDA, it is against New York Law to discriminate against an individual because of “actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and the exercise of civil rights.” SONDA defines sexual orientation as actual or perceived;

  • Heterosexuality
  • Homosexuality
  • Bisexuality
  • Asexuality

What does this mean? It means that SONDA and NYSHRL protect victims who experience employment discrimination because of their real sexual orientation or of because the offender believes they are of a particular sexual orientation. If an employer or prospective employer bases an employment decision on your sexuality, you may have the right to file a claim and collect damages under state or federal law.

Here are examples of how an employer may act unlawfully and violate the rights of an individual because of sexual identity:

  • Your employer tells you and the entire company that same-gender spouses are not welcome at a work event, but heterosexual couples may bring their spouses.
  • Telling you that you must be “more manly” or “more feminine” for a particular position.
  • A qualified applicant who mentions his same-sex partner does not get the job because the interviewer does not think homosexuals are good co-workers.
  • An interviewer suspects a job applicant identifies as homosexual and does not hire her.
  • An openly “bi-sexual” worker is made fun of and propositioned daily at the office.
  • Co-workers make derogatory comments, frequently discuss behavior, and mimic a colleague who “acts” like a homosexual.
  • A supervisor refuses to give a promotion to someone who identifies as homosexual.
  • A supervisor does not treat you the same after finding out about your sexual orientation.
  • You lose your job for being “too heterosexual” because your boss believes most of his customers are more comfortable working with non-heterosexual individuals.

Attorneys File Claims on Behalf of Victims Sexual Orientation Discrimination in New York

If you have experienced workplace discrimination because of your sexual orientation, speak with lawyers, like those at Leeds Brown, who have an in-depth understanding of the legal process, substantive issues, and administrative rules that must be followed to preserve your right to recover compensation. Whether your case falls under multiple state laws or a federal anti-discrimination statute, the entire nature of your claim may change. Depending on the options you choose, there can be different deadlines, procedures, and consequences. Deciding what path to take after you face sexual orientation, gender, or even transgender discrimination, will depend on the particular facts of your case, your damages and what you are trying to accomplish.

Contact Us to Evaluate Your Situation and Determine if You Have a Case

Contact gender discrimination lawyers at Leeds Brown to find out more about your rights under federal and New York employment discrimination laws. If you have a sex discrimination claim, you may be recover compensation including back pay, money for pain and suffering, punitive damages and unpaid benefits. You may be able to secure reinstatement or promotion.

Let Leeds Brown, one of New York’s leading employment discrimination firms, work with you through the collaborative process of choosing a course of action and formulating a plan to achieve your goals. No one should have to endure workplace discrimination, and we are here to make sure that if you get treated in an unlawful manner, you receive the fair compensation you deserve. Our attorneys represent clients’ interests in nearly all types of employment claims including those that arise under the Equal Pay Act, the New York Women’s Equality Act, Title VII, and more.  We have experience assisting men, women and transgender individuals who want to collect damages from the party responsible for gender discrimination in the workplace.

Call today for a free evaluation. Time may be of the essence so don’t hesitate. We are available 24/7 to take your call at 1-800-585-4658.

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