Florin Gray Bouzas Owens is here to represent victims of sexual-orientation-based discrimination and harassment in Tampa Bay. Federal employment laws might not have caught up with the changes in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) legislation in several Florida ordinances, but that does not mean this community has no rights or protections in the workplace. Many Florida laws do exist to give LGBT people legal outlets in the face of employment discrimination.
Our legal team has given voices to victims for decades, and is dedicated to protecting Tampa’s LGBT workers from discrimination and harassment. We respond to client queries quickly, and help them understand what to expect from the legal process. We are always responsive and professional, conducting each case with integrity. If you’ve experienced any form of discrimination as a job applicant, employee, or former employee because of your LGBT status, use us as a resource.
About Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Losing a job opportunity, being demoted, or facing job termination because of your sexual orientation are examples of discrimination. It is against federal laws for anyone to discriminate against someone else based on a “protected class.” Protected classes include race, gender, age, disability, religion, and sex. Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) added language to federal rules regarding discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on a protected class. The EEOC has taken the position that Title VII protects LGBT job applicants and employees against biases in the workplace. The EEOC interprets Title VII as prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The EEOC’s anti-LGBT discrimination rules will apply regardless of contrasting state laws. The EEOC responds to complaints of LGBT discrimination the same as any other type of work discrimination complaints.
Discrimination because of sexual orientation or transgender status can take many forms. If an employer failed to hire you based in any way on your LGBT status, you could have a discrimination claim. The same is true if an employer fired you after learning of your LGBT status or your plans to make a gender transition. Denial of a common restroom corresponding to your gender identity is also discrimination according to the EEOC. Denying equal pay, promotions, or harassing an employee because of LGBT status are also examples.
What to Do If You Suspect LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace
The EEOC gives you protections as an LGBT worker just like everyone else in the American workforce. You have the right to a discrimination- and harassment-free work environment. If anyone infringes upon these rights, take a stand. If you’re an employee, go to the correct department at the company and file an official complaint. If the company fails to take action to remedy the situation, take your complaint to the EEOC. The EEOC will need proof that you filed with your employer, and that your employer failed to take action, before stepping in.
File a charge of employment discrimination with the EEOC within 180 days of the event. You can file your complaint online or in person at a local Florida EEOC office. You can report an employer to the EEOC as a job applicant or former employee as well. The EEOC might take steps to solve the issue, such as order mediation with your employer. Your next move should be to call our lawyers for legal representation during mediation and other legal processes.
Florin Gray Bouzas Owens has experience helping clients achieve settlements or jury verdicts for workplace discrimination claims in Tampa. We want to provide assistance to members of Tampa Bay’s LGBT community when an employer, coworker, or other party steps on their employment rights. If you feel someone has discriminated against you or harassed you because of your gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, or gender, contact our firm to learn more about your case.