Long Island Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Nassau County on Long Island had the most hate crime incidents per bias motivation of 15 New York counties that were surveyed in 2008. However, neighboring Suffolk County was the leader in hate crimes stemming from sexual orientation bias. Workers in New York and elsewhere in the country are well aware that they may face sexual orientation discrimination on the job. However, the law on sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace varies, as does the law on gender identity. On Long Island, workers are protected by the New York Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), which prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in workplaces across the state. At Phillips & Associates, our Long Island sexual orientation discrimination lawyers may be able to help you recover damages if you are a victim of an employer's bias against people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. There are no upfront fees if we take your case. We are a contingency employment law firm. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss the harassment you are experiencing at (516) 365-3731.Sexual Orientation Discrimination Severely Undermines a Workplace
Sexual orientation is defined under state law as including heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality, and it includes both actual sexual orientation and perceived sexual orientation. There is protection for you under state law, whether you are targeted in the workplace because of your actual sexual orientation or because of what an employer or coworker believes your orientation to be. For example, if your employer refuses to permit you to be in a desirable customer-facing position because he believes that you are gay and that it will turn off customers, you may have a viable claim for sexual orientation discrimination, even if you are heterosexual.
There are some exemptions under SONDA. For example, religious institutions can limit employment based on actions calculated to promote the religious principles for which they are maintained or established. If you apply to work at a church, and it decides not to hire you because you are bisexual, the church may not be culpable for this discrimination.
What if you are transgender, and your employer allows you to be harassed because you are perceived as being lesbian? A sexual orientation discrimination attorney on Long Island may still be able to help you bring a lawsuit under SONDA, which applies to protect anyone who suffers from discrimination based on sexual orientation in a covered workplace. SONDA applies if your employer has at least four employees.
If you believe that you were a victim of sexual orientation discrimination, you can file a charge of discrimination with the New York State Division of Human Rights within one year of the most recent act of discrimination, and you may also be able to file a lawsuit directly. It may be better to simply file the lawsuit directly, but you should consult an experienced Long Island sexual orientation discrimination attorney.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may also provide protection against sexual orientation discrimination, but judges have ruled in different ways. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that sexual orientation discrimination is simply a form of sex discrimination. The Second Circuit, however, has previously ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is not prohibited under Title VII. The Second Circuit is the intermediate appellate court for New York's federal lawsuits.
In 2017, a federal court for the Southern District of New York refused to dismiss a sexual orientation discrimination claim that was brought under Title VII. The judge remarked that there was an artificial distinction being pushed forward between gender stereotyping and sexual orientation discrimination. In the case, the plaintiff claimed that he had been harassed and discriminated against for years because he was gay. He was described as flamboyant and advised that separate but equal treatment of gay people could be best. His relationship with his long-term domestic partner was dismissed, and allegedly he was excluded from meetings due to his sexual orientation. Due to a belief that gay people did not have kids, he was given a lower salary.Retain a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyer on Long Island
At Phillips & Associates, our attorneys fight employer misconduct head-on and may be able to help you recover damages if you have been wronged on the job. Contact one of our employment attorneys at (516) 2365-3731 or through our online form to start exploring your options. Our consultation is free and there are no attorney fees unless we recover.
PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
1129 Northern Boulevard, 4th Floor,
Manhasset, NY 11030