Preventing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bias at work

Recently, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has been in the media due to new laws being passed. Same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the United States, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been working to halt discrimination in the workplace.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws, protecting LGBT workers along with anyone else who seeks a job, against discrimination. Discrimination against the person’s color, race, sex, pregnancy, religion, nation of origin, age or disability/genetic information is illegal within the United States. For example, if a person is not hired for a job simply due to age despite having the ability to perform the job and can prove that age was a factor, that could be a basis for a lawsuit against age discrimination. Federal laws protect employees who report the discrimination from retaliation, too, which means that no employer can fire an employee for reporting an unsafe or harassing work environment.

The Strategic Enforcement Plan designed by the EEOC specifically protects the LGBT community from discrimination at work. The community is protected under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions and has become an enforcement priority. Between 2013 and 2016, the EEOC aims to focus particular efforts on maintaining a discrimination-free work environment for LGBT workers.

For workers who have suffered due to discrimination, the EEOC has started to file LGBT-related lawsuits to protect the community citing the discriminatory events under Title VII. As each case is won and brought to federal attention, the laws and efforts of the EEOC can be altered to suit.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “What You Should Know About EEOC and the Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers,” accessed July 02, 2015

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