New York, New Jersey & Philadelphia Sexual Orientation Harassment Attorneys
NYC Attorneys helping you fight back against gay and lesbian (LGBTQ) sexual harassment
Were you abused at work due to your sexual orientation? Were you treated unfairly because of bias and prejudice? Unfortunately, members of the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer (LGBTQ) community are just as susceptible to sexual harassment in the workplace as anyone else — in some work environments, LGBTQ individuals are at an even higher risk. Many instances of gay and lesbian harassment go unreported, making victims feel like they don’t have a voice. Now is your time to fight back.
The New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia sexual orientation harassment attorneys at the Derek T. Smith Law Group PLLC understands the sensitivity involved with these types of sexual harassment and employment discrimination cases. LGBT People experience employment discrimination in the workplace and on job interviews. President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, adding “gender identity” to the list of categories protected against employment discrimination in hiring in the federal civilian workforce and both “sexual orientation” and gender identity” to the list of categories protected against employment discrimination in hiring and employment on the part of federal government. Our sexual orientation harassment and employment discrimination lawyers vow to protect your best interests, and handle your legal matter with discretion and tact. Our sexual orientation harassment lawyers are highly skilled, possessing the legal savvy and experience to successfully navigate the complex legal maze of employment-related discrimination cases.
New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia Laws and lawyers protecting the LGBTQ community
In New York, it is illegal to discriminate against or harass someone due to their “actual or perceived” sexual orientation. In other words, you can not be discriminated against for being gay, even if you do not actually identify as a homosexual. You should not be harassed at work or denied employment benefits because of your sexual orientation.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII. This is also known as gender identity discrimination. In addition, lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals may bring sex discrimination claims. These may include, for example, allegations of sexual harassment or other kinds of sex discrimination, such as adverse actions taken because of the person’s non-conformance with sex-stereotypes.
The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (“SONDA”)
The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, typically known by its acronym “SONDA,” prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and the exercise of civil rights. New York has long prohibited discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics, such as race, sex, and religion. SONDA added the term “sexual orientation” to the list of specifically protected characteristics in various State laws, including the Human Rights Law, the Civil Rights Law and the Education Law.
However, simple teasing, joking or “horseplay” is probably not severe enough to warrant legal action. The harassment must be “severe” or “pervasive.”
Examples of sexual orientation harassment
Harassment comes in many forms. Your harasser could be your boss, a fellow co-worker, a subordinate or even a customer. You could be teased, physically harmed, received explicit images or notes — the list goes on. Some specific examples include:
- Focusing on your sexual orientation rather than your job abilities
- Being sent degrading or sexually explicit emails regarding your sexual orientation
- Repeatedly being called “faggot,” “homo,” or other derogatory names
- Being subjected to repeated homophobic jokes or slurs
- Propositioning you for sexual favors
- Forced physical contact, or threats of forced physical contact
In a severe sexual orientation harassment case handled by the New York City employment law attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, Mirella Salemi was awarded 1.2 million dollars in damages in a sexual orientation and religious discrimination case. As a chef and manager at Gloria’s Tribecamex Inc, Salemi was repeatedly told by her boss that homosexuality is a “sin” and that “gay people” were “going to go to hell.” She was forced to attend weekly prayer meetings and subjected to her boss’ religious rants.
A team of New York City sexual harassment lawyers are on your side
The workplace should be a safe environment where individuals can be protected from discrimination and harassment. When your rights are violated, and your emotional and professional security is threatened, call the sexual orientation harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group at 1-877-4NYLAWS. Our sexual harassment lawyers serve clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island and throughout the state of New York. We also represent employees sexual harassment cases in New Jersey, Philadelphia & Washington D.C.
For more information on New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia labor & employment laws, and other types of Sexual Harassment and Employment Discrimination visit our New York City Employment Law Blog