Sexual Orientation Discrimination & Harassment

Gay and Lesbian (LGBT) Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

Both New York and New Jersey law prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Despite these legal protections, LGBT people frequently face discrimination and sexual orientation harassment in the workplace. The sexual orientation discrimination lawyers at Zatuchni & Associates represent the interests of workers who have suffered discriminatory or harassing actions in the workplace because of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Our goal is to help you find justice and financial recovery through the legal system. Contact our office to speak to a New York or New Jersey sexual orientation discrimination attorney.

New Jersey & New York Law Prohibits LGBT Discrimination in Employment

In New Jersey, the Law Against Discrimination recognizes and protects a person’s civil right to a workplace free of discrimination because of “affectional or sexual orientation, . . . gender identity or expression.” New York’s Human Rights Law offers similar protections. Both laws make it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire or employ, bar or discharge from employment or discriminate against an individual because of his or her sexual orientation.

That prohibition has been interpreted broadly by courts in both states. The sexual orientation discrimination lawyers of Zatuchni & Associates help protect the rights of LGBT workers against:

  • Unlawful employment discrimination;
  • Sexual orientation harassment leading to a hostile work environment; and
  • Employer retaliation.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Men are not discriminated against for being “too masculine,” and yet LGBT workers are sometimes told that they must change their personal style to fit ill-defined gender stereotypes. When a business refuses to hire, fires, reduces pay, or otherwise discriminates against a worker because of a gender stereotype or the worker’s sexual orientation, that business is breaking the law.

Transgender individuals face a different sort of discrimination in the workplace, but transgender—or transsexual—persons are also protected under New Jersey law.

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, gender expression or identity or based on a gender stereotype, contact the discrimination attorneys at Zatuchni & Associates.

Sexual Orientation Harassment/Hostile Work Environment

Sexual orientation harassment can be intentional behavior directed at one individual, or it can be many elements that add up to a sexually charged and hostile work environment. A hostile work environment exists when there is workplace harassment that:

  • Would not have occurred but for the employee’s LGBT status; and
  • Is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable LGBT person would believe that the conditions of employment had been altered and the working environment is hostile or abusive.

Our hostile work environment lawyers have represented clients with LGBT harassment cases who said they were subject to verbal ridicule, sexual jokes, and repeated inappropriate and offensive verbal commentary on their personal lives.

If you have complained to management about a hostile work environment and coworkers’ or supervisors’ offensive remarks and nothing has been done to address your concerns, it’s time to contact a hostile work environment attorney. Gay and lesbian workers, like all workers, are protected by law from sexual harassment and sexual orientation harassment.

Retaliation

If you were fired, demoted or harassed because you complained about a hostile work environment or sexual abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, you may be able to sue your employer for unlawful retaliation. Contact a discrimination lawyer at Zatuchni & Associates if you are facing abuse or retaliation.

Learn more: Forced to Quit Your Job Due to Harassment? Constructive Discharge in NJ

Title VII Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims

Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in employment. The EEOC, which administers and enforces federal anti-discrimination law, has held that that prohibition extends to sexual orientation discrimination, but the federal courts of appeals are split on that question. The Second Circuit, which has jurisdiction over New York, says that it does. The Third Circuit, which has jurisdiction over New Jersey, has said in the past that it does not.

With the law in flux, that means LGBT workers in New York are protected against discrimination by both New York and federal law. In contrast, LGBT workers in New Jersey must rely solely on state law–for now.

The sexual orientation discrimination lawyers of Zatuchni & Associates are experienced in bringing discrimination claims under the Civil Rights Act, as well as the state anti-discrimination laws of New York and New Jersey. We help clients understand their legal options and pursue all available LGBT discrimination claims under state and federal law.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyers in New Jersey and New York

You have rights in your workplace. If you are an LGBT person living or working in New Jersey or New York and you’ve been harassed or discriminated against because of your sexual orientation or gender expression, you need to contact one of the attorneys of Zatuchni & Associates for help with your case.

To learn more…

Bringing a Discrimination Claim

Employment Law E-Newsletter

Past Zatuchni & Associates Newsletters