Phillips & Associates

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Miami Attorneys Representing Employees Against Employers

Miami is home to many LGBTQ individuals, and the city has a ban on conversion therapy. Moreover, as a city in Miami-Dade County, workers in Miami benefit from the county’s Human Rights Ordinance, which was enacted to prohibit discrimination and promote equal opportunities. One of the protected characteristics under this ordinance is sexual orientation. If you believe that you were a victim of sexual orientation discrimination at your job, you should consult the Miami sexual orientation discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Workplace sexual orientation discrimination is not expressly prohibited under federal or state laws. However, around 328,000 workers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender live in Florida. Unfortunately, discrimination against workers who identify in this way continues to be widespread in workplaces. In addition to discrimination being self-reported, others often report witnessing this discrimination. The Pew Research Center discovered in 2013 that 21% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender employees had been treated unfairly by an employer in promotions, pay, or hiring. Many experience workplace harassment as well.

Federal and State Laws

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC has interpreted that to mean that sexual orientation discrimination (along with gender identity discrimination) is also prohibited as a subset of sex discrimination. Furthermore, Title VII case law prohibits discrimination based on sex/gender stereotyping, which sometimes applies to sexual orientation discrimination cases. A sexual orientation discrimination attorney in Miami can use evidence. in a case where you were subjected to discrimination based on sexual orientation, that you failed to conform to expected gender stereotypes.

However, there is no express prohibition on sexual orientation discrimination, and some courts have found that sexual orientation discrimination is not included within the scope of sex/gender discrimination.

The Florida Civil Rights Act, a state law, also prohibits sex discrimination, but not expressly sexual orientation discrimination. State courts interpret the Florida Civil Rights Act by using Title VII case law.

This area of law is in flux. The Supreme Court is expected to hear three lawsuits that could affect LGBTQ workers at companies covered by Title VII. Attempts to reform state laws have been quashed, but there is current legislation in the Florida House to reform the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, which would allow for religious exceptions.

Local Laws

However, it is illegal under the Miami-Dade County Human Rights Ordinance, which is found in Chapter 11A, for employers to discriminate in employment based on employee sexual orientation. Under this ordinance, an employee can file a discrimination complaint with the assistance of a Miami sexual orientation discrimination attorney.

The Commission on Human Rights Board is the quasi-judicial and advisory board that enforces this law. The Board is made up of 26 members, serving in a voluntary capacity, whom the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners has appointed to serve eight-year terms. The Board’s staff conducts intake, mediation, investigation, conciliation, administrative hearings, technical assistance, and outreach.

If you are aggrieved by the Board’s Director’s recommended final order related to a sexual orientation discrimination claim, you can ask for a hearing before a panel of the Commission within 15 days of the Director’s findings. Within 180 days of your filing a complaint with the Director, if the Director was not able to get voluntary compliance, you can ask for a notice of right-to-sue. If it is issued, the jurisdiction of the Director and Board is terminated. Within 90 days of receiving that notice, you can sue for sexual orientation discrimination. If the court determines that sexual orientation discrimination has occurred it can order the practice prohibited and award, not only injunctive relief, but also actual and punitive damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, and other proper relief.

Retain a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyer in Miami

If you were harmed by sexual orientation discrimination at your workplace, you should consult a seasoned employment attorney. Call the experienced litigators at Phillips & Associates at (305) 549-5120 or complete our online form. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get attorneys’ fees unless we successfully secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens. Angel
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Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone. Margaret
★★★★★
I called at Phillips & Associates seeking for a consultation and I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Eugenio Benvenuto. He was able to answer my questions thoroughly and gave me reassurance. I highly recommend their practice. Giulia
★★★★★
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
★★★★★
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen