Close Menu
Florida Labor & Employment Attorney
  • Employment
  • Civil Rights
  • Healthcare
Florida 561-653-0008 California 213-377-5200
Helping You Navigate Workplace Issues in Florida and California
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Youtube
  • Yelp
  • Instagram

LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace

Although states across the nation last year witnessed the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, in the question regarding whether it remains legal in the workplace a to discriminate against employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) within the is in limbo. Indeed, according to an article in USA Today, “in 28 states, it is legal to fire someone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.” Luckily, for many Floridians, local statute may prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation when the state laws do not specifically provide protections. Even better, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) recently announced intentions to process charges of discrimination sounding in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation – so the law is evolving.

Still, just because not everyone may be protected against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, this fact alone does not mean that LGBT individuals do not have any recourse for workplace discrimination.

Employee Discrimination in Florida Against LGBT Workers

As the advocacy group Equality Florida Action, Inc. underscores on its website, “throughout most of Florida . . . the LGBT community is currently left out of statewide non-discrimination protections.” In other words, Florida is one of the many states where it is not explicitly illegal to discriminate against employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Nonetheless, while the Florida Civil Rights Act may not specifically define sexual orientation as a protected class, some litigants have found success with protections under the anti-gender discrimination being extended to situations of sexual orientation discrimination.

Yet the lack of attention to LGBT rights and protections does not foreclose the possibility of winning a federal employment discrimination claim. To be sure, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled in favor of employees—including in the state of Florida—who have filed discrimination claims based on sexual orientation.

EEOC Stands Up Against LGBT Employment Discrimination

For several years, the EEOC has been making decisions that appear to expand the protections of Title VII. For instance, as the articles notes, back in 2012 the EEOC “found discrimination against an employee due to his or her gender identity falls under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.” In that case, a transgender woman alleged that her employer fired her because she was transitioning.

As a news release from the EEOC explains, it adopted a strategic plan in December of 2012 that listed “coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions” as “an enforcement priority” for the years 2013-2016.

Just this past summer, the EEOC ruled in favor of a Florida employee who contended that “he was not promoted due to his sexual orientation as a gay man,” according to the article. While the EEOC is taking steps to protect LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination, advocates insist that we need a federal law in place specifying that employers are prohibited from discrimination against employees based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Even more promising is that employees working in Counties like Palm Beach, Miami Dade, Orange, Pinellas, or cities like Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Gainesville may find protection under local ordinances which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, providing clear protection from discrimination even when state law and federal law may not be as clear.

If you have questions about filing an employment discrimination claim, you should discuss your case with an experienced West Palm Beach employment discrimination attorney. A dedicated advocate at our firm can discuss your case with you today. Contact Scott Wagner and Associates, P.A. to learn more about how we can assist with your claim.

  • Jupiter Map 250 South Central Boulevard | Suite 104-A
    Jupiter, FL 33458
  • West Palm Beach Map 101 Northpoint Parkway
    West Palm Beach, FL 33407
    (Appointment Only)
  • Burbank Map 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 1200
    Burbank, CA 91505
    (WeWork Offices)
Florida 561-653-0008 California 213-377-5200
* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from www.floridalaborlawyer.com

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2016 - 2017 Scott Wagner & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.