Gay, Lesbian, Same Sex Marriage & Transgender Legal Protections in the Workplace.

I am A Person
I am A Person

Yesterday, I found myself browsing facebook and I came across a heated discussion about homosexuality.  Some argued it was a choice.  Others argued it was not a choice.  Others called it a sin.  While the majority supported and embraced homosexuality, others simply tolerated it, but a select few were out right against it.  While this topic is certainly a matter of personal opinion, you definitely do not want to find yourself involved in a heated discussion about this topic with co-workers at your local water cooler.

Most people do not know that back in 1991 the State of Connecticut passed into law that it is illegal to discriminate against homosexual individuals.   That law was expanded in July of 2011, to include gender identity or expression. These laws forbid employers from refusing to hire a person or discharge them, or discriminate against them in compensation, or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of sexual orientation or gender identity expression.

This explanation does not take into account real life scenarios that can and do happen in the workplace.  That water cooler chat can be very dangerous territory.  Jane begins a conversation about her gay son and his boyfriend.  Joe, who is gay himself, states how happy he is that Jane’s son found a loving and caring person to be a part of his life.  Matt happens to walk past that water cooler and hears the term “gay” and declares “what faggot are you talking about?  People like that should be shot.”  Matt just happens to be Joe’s boss.  When Joe tells Matt he is gay, Matt no longer wants to work with Joe.  He begins to single him out, write him up for every excuse in the book and is constantly heard making negative reference about Joe the faggot.  Where does this leave Joe?  All Joe wants to do is to go to work and do his job, but because he revealed his sexual orientation, he now faces negative consequences on the job as a direct result of his personal sexual preferences.  What should Joe do?  Refer back to our previous post about filing complaints with the employer!  An employer holds an obligation to halt this type of discriminatory behavior in the workplace!

This is where Connecticut laws come in to protect individuals who have varying sexual orientations or are transgender individuals.  If an employee is facing discrimination on the job or is being adversely affected because of their sexual orientation or expression, the employer becomes responsible for halting that type of discrimination.  If they choose to ignore it or allow negative consequences such as demotions and terminations to occur, they better be prepared to pay hefty legal fees and damages to the effected employee.

It should also be noted that while Connecticut is only one of a select few states to have in place legal protections for gay and lesbian individuals (recently expanded to include transgender individuals and same-sex marriage as well) a Federal case Peter J. Terveer v. Library of Congress recently came out in March of this year, that has allowed Title VII Federal Law to apply to claims of discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation.

Are you a  gay, lesbian or a transgender individual and find yourself being treated differently in the workplace?  Are you being discriminated against being of your same sex marriage?  Are you regarded as being gay because of certain mannerisms you possess and harassed because of it?

Not certain if your personal situation qualifies under state and federal laws?  Gives us a call at 203-936-9111, we represent the employee in all their workplace issues.

#equalprotection #employeerights #ihaveemployeerights  #CTemployeerights