Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace in Miami is prohibited by federal and local laws. Your sexual orientation, whether you are homosexual, heterosexual, or bi-sexual, is your personal business and does not belong in employment decisions. Any employer, CEO, supervisor/manager, co-worker client/customer, vendor, or other non-employee that does not understand that and continues to treat your poorly or harass you because of your sexual orientation is in violation of those laws. For over 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group in Miami have helped victims just like you get the justice they deserve.
What Is Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation in Miami?
Sexual orientation discrimination is when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly or harassed by an employer, CEO, supervisor or manager, co-worker, client or customer, vendor, or other non-employee because he or she is homosexual, heterosexual, or bi-sexual. It is a form of sex discrimination and is illegal in the workplace in Miami. Sexual orientation harassment can happen to men and women and can come from someone of the same sexual orientation or from a person of a different sexual orientation.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has declared that sexual orientation is filed under sex discrimination which is prohibited in any workplace with 15 or more employees.
The Human Rights Ordinance in Miami prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in any Miami workplace.
In order to prove sexual orientation discrimination, you must have evidence that you were treated unfairly or harassed because you are homosexual, heterosexual, or bi-sexual. This can be done through direct evidence, disparate evidence, or policy evidence.
- Direct Evidence. When your employer tells you or emails you that you are being treated a certain way because of your sexual orientation, you have direct evidence of discrimination. This is often called the “smoking gun.” It can be verbal or in writing and can be said directly to you or to someone else about you.
- Disparate Evidence. When there is a pattern of people being treated unfairly or harassed and the common denominator is their sexual orientation, you may have disparate evidence. This evidence shows a direct relationship between your sexual orientation and the negative treatment or harassment.
- Policy Evidence. When following a policy inevitably leads to discrimination against someone based on sexual orientation, then you have policy evidence to help your case.
Sexual orientation discrimination can take many forms. It can be quite subtle and take several instances for a pattern to be exposed. On the other hand, it can be blatantly obvious, as is the case with most harassment claims. Here are some examples of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace:
- Your boss refuses to give you the vacation time you asked for your same-sex wedding, even though your co-worker who is getting married to an opposite-sex partner was given paid time off as a wedding gift from the company
- You are demoted because your supervisor claims you are producing poor quality work. Two weeks ago, he gave you a written accommodation which resulted in you being employee of the month. Then he learned you were a Lesbian the following week
- Your co-worker sends jokes via email about people the LGBTQ community that you have said you find offensive.
- A client does not want you working on her project because she does not like to work with anyone who is bi-sexual
- Your co-worker keeps asking you about being bi-sexual and why you can’t “just choose”
- Your boss says you are not “gay enough” and tells you that you need to be willing to be “more out”
- Your supervisor keeps asking you on a date. You have told him you are not gay and that you are not interested
- Your CEO will not allow you to register your same-sex spouse for the company health insurance even though your marriage is legally binding
- Your supervisor is gay and refuses to promote anyone who is not a member of the LGBTQ community
- There is a policy that states that only heterosexual employees are allowed to work on certain cases because the customers are homophobic
- Asking your sexual orientation at your employment interview
If you have a claim under Title VII, you must file it with the EEOC. The time limit to file the claim is 300 days in Miami. The EEOC will investigate the claim to make sure it fits under the guidelines of the law and then issue a Right to Sue letter. You then have 90 days to file a complaint in federal court.
If you have a claim under the Miami Human Rights Ordinance, you must file the claim with the Commission on Human Rights within 1 year of the sate of the last incident of discrimination.
When bringing a lawsuit to the Miami courts for sexual orientation discrimination, it is clear you are looking for relief. The courts may offer the following remedies for your claim:
- 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 actions
- Reviewing and revamping of company policies
- Attorney’s fees
- Back pay
- Future pay
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
A case filed in Miami court for sexual orientation discrimination may last anywhere from 4 to 6 months to a year or longer, depending on the details of your case. If your employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement with you, your case may settle in as little as 4 to 6 months. However, if your employer insists on going to trial, you case may take 8 months to a year or longer to prepare. Then, the trial may last a few days to several weeks or more before a judgment is entered by the court.
As you decide on your next move, there are a few things you can do to help move your sexual orientation discrimination case along.
- Contact an experienced sexual orientation discrimination attorney immediately.
- If you are still employed, do not quit your job until you consult your attorney.
- If your company has an HR department, file a complaint for sexual orientation discrimination in writing.
- If your company has a sexual orientation discrimination policy, follow it.
- Gather evidence. Document everything, including what occurred, when and where it occurred, who was involved, and any witnesses.
- Do not waste time. You have a limited statute of limitations to file your claim. Do not wait until it is too late.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Sexual Orientation Discrimination Attorneys for Your Free Consultation
No employee should worry about their sexual orientation being a part of their employment. If you are a victim of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace in Miami, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group (one of FindLaw’s top employment discrimination law firms in Miami) can help. We have helped our clients win over $165,000,000 and we want to help you. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for a 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
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination