Everyone deserves to head to their place of employment and be treated like everyone else, regardless of their sexual orientation. However, LGBTQ discrimination is more common than people think. Being treated differently can be traumatic, and you might be wondering if you have any rights for how to manage the situation. Fortunately, you do, and you might like to take some of the following steps to stand up for yourself and the LGBTQ community.
Step 1: Request Legal Advice
Contacting an Engel & Martin Criminal Law Attorneys might be one of the first actions you take if you believe you’ve been experiencing LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace. Laws surrounding discrimination based on sexual orientation can be challenging, and LGBTQ discrimination lawyers are well-placed to use all the tools at their disposal to fight for your right to fair treatment at work.
Due to federal law complexities surrounding discrimination, your chosen lawyer must think outside the box, rely on existing statutes, and use their knowledge of federal and state laws to help you develop a strong case. While you might think you can fight discrimination on your own, it can often take a team of experts to bring a discrimination case over the line.
Step 2: Collect Evidence
Claiming workplace discrimination based on your sexual orientation can be a significant accusation, and extensive proof can often be necessary to establish a case, should you decide to take legal action or bring your situation to the attention of your employers.
Start gathering evidence as soon as you realize that you’re being discriminated against to have enough proof of the events unfolding. This evidence can include descriptions with dates and times of conversations or interactions, emails, social media posts, photographs, and even lists of witnesses who would happily confirm what you’re saying is true.
Don’t be afraid to include information on how your workplace policies weren’t followed, documentation of attempts you’d made to rectify the problem, and any differences in treatment you believed you received compared to your non-LGBTQ peers. The more detailed your evidence is, the stronger your case might be.
Step 3: Report the Discrimination
Before contacting a lawyer, take a moment to read through your employee manual or policies to understand any contractual rights you have regarding discrimination and the complaints process. Every workplace is different, and some have policies with steps for how to lodge complaints through the appropriate channels.
Sometimes, this can start with bringing the discrimination to the attention of your supervisor or manager or laying a complaint in writing. If you provide any documentation to your manager or employer, ensure you make a copy for yourself and avoid distributing original versions of any evidence.
Step 4: Take Legal Action
After gathering evidence and contacting your employer, you might still feel like nothing is being done to address discrimination in the workplace. In this instance, now might be the right time to file a complaint with a local civil rights enforcement agency or the state.
Everyone deserves to be treated equally in their place of business, irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and religion. If you believe you’re being discriminated against based on your LGBTQ status, consider gathering evidence and seeking legal action to stand up for your rights and the rights of others fighting the same fight.