LGBTQ Discrimination / Gay and Lesbian Discrimination In the Workplace
Being gay or lesbian is a right, not a choice. You are legally allowed to live your life any way you see fit, whether you are part of the LGBTQ community, an ally, or not. However, your employer is not legally permitted to make any employment decisions or harass you based on your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or being transgender. That is prohibited by local and federal laws. For the past 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group in Miami have helped people just like you get the justice they deserve.
What Is LGBTQ Discrimination in Miami?
LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace in Miami is when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or harassed by an employer, CEO, supervisor/manager, co-worker, customer/client, vendor, or non-employee because he or she is transgender, or because of sexual orientation, gender identification, gender expression, or association with members of the LGBTQ community. The discrimination can even occur if you are not a member of the LGBTQ community but find certain behaviors offensive and make it clear they should stop.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) includes sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination as an area of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, if an employer has 15 or more employees, they cannot legally discriminate against anyone that is part of the LGBTQ community.
The Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants that are Gay and Lesbian or part of the LGBTQ community.
When filing a lawsuit for LGBTQ discrimination in Miami, you must present evidence to prove your case. The evidence can be direct, disparate, or policy.
- Direct Evidence. If you are directly told that you are being treated a certain way or harassed because you identify as LGBTQ, you have direct evidence for your case. Often called the “smoking gun,” this evidence can be verbal or written. It can be directly stated or sent to you or it can be said to another person specifically about you.
- Disparate Evidence. If you can show a pattern of behavior where you, and possibly others that are part of the LGBTQ community, are consistently passed over for promotions, denied raises, and otherwise treated unfairly, you may have disparate evidence. This evidence shows a pattern or culture within the workplace that appears to have a cause and effect relationship between the discriminatory behavior and you being a member of a protected class.
- Policy Evidence. When a policy discriminates simply by being followed, you may have policy evidence of discrimination in your workplace.
Whether you are being denied a promotion for the 10th time or are being called derogatory and homophobic slurs, you are seeing LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace first-hand. Here are some other examples of LGBTQ discrimination:
- Your boss refuses to use the proper pronouns for your gender identity
- Your co-worker tells offensive LGBTQ jokes that you have repeatedly requested stop
- You are terminated for complaining to HR that you believe you are being discriminated against for being gay
- Your co-worker says to you that you cannot be bi-sexual because that “does not exist”
- Your company policy insists you use the bathroom for your gender of birth
- Your boss insists you wear gender-specific uniforms
- You and your spouse are denied health insurance benefits because you are a same-sex couple, even though all heterosexual married couples are provided health insurance
- You are denied the opportunity to work on a project because you told your boss you identify as non-binary
- Your supervisor tells you to “stop acting so gay” in the office
- The contractor fixing the computers is blatantly making homophobic jokes and using homophobic slurs and your employer is not stopping him
If you are looking to file a Title VII claim, you must file with the EEOC. The EEOC sets a time limit of 300 days to file your claim. They will investigate the claim to make sure it fits within the guidelines of the law. Then, they will issue you a Right to Sue letter, which allows you to file the lawsuit in federal court.
If you are going to file a claim under the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance, you must file it with Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices (FEP) within 1 year of the date of the last incident. The FEP will investigate the claim and take action is the claim is found to be valid.
There are several remedies available for LGBTQ discrimination from the courts. Some of the remedies may include, but are not limited to:
- Reinstatement of employment and/or benefits
- Reimbursement of benefit premiums
- Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
- Reassignment or termination of the person responsible for the discriminatory behavior
- Reviewing and revamping company policies
- Attorney’s fees
- Back pay
- Future pay
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
If you file a claim with the Miami courts for LGBTQ discrimination, it may take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year or more to settle. If your employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement, your claim may settle in as little as 4 to 6 months. However, if your employer insists on going to trial, your case may take 8 months to a year or more to prepare. The trial may then take a few days to several weeks or more until a judgment is entered by the court.
While you decide on how to proceed with your case, here are a few things you should do to help move the process along.
- Contact an experienced LGBTQ/ gay and lesbian discrimination attorney immediately.
- If you are still employed, do not quit your job until consulting with your attorney.
- If your company has an HR department, file a complaint for LGBTQ discrimination in writing.
- If your company has an LGBTQ discrimination policy, follow it.
- Gather evidence. Document every incident, including what occurred, when and where it occurred, who was involved, and any witnesses.
- Do not waste time. You have a limited amount of time to file your claim. Do not wait until it is too late.
Contact Our Experienced Miami LGBTQ Discrimination Attorneys for Your Free Consultation
You have a right to work in an environment where you are free from discrimination for being part of the LGBTQ community. If you are the victim of LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace in Miami, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group (one of FindLaw’s top employment discrimination law firms) can help. We have helped recover over $165,000,000 for our clients and we want to help you. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for your free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.
Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle in Miami:
- Race Discrimination
- Color Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Age (over 40) Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination