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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

LGBT Discrimination Goes Much Further Than the Bathroom

By Dan Atkerson on May 25, 2016

Atkerson2Workplace discrimination makes the lives of countless people incredibly hard. The LGBT community has fought a long time for equal employment rights, but has seen very little in the way of progress. So far, only a handful of states and cities have created anti-LGBT discrimination laws, but federal protection is still complicated.

LGBT Discrimination in Texas

Dallas, along with Fort Worth, Austin, and Plano, has city ordinances that were created to prevent employment discrimination against the LGBT community in both the public and private sectors. These ordinances stand in stark opposition to other local government’s decisions. For example, Houston has achieved notoriety after its residents voted to kill the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which offered employment protection for LGBT workers.

A recent study authored by a team of researchers at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute estimated that as many as 429,000 LGBT employees in Texas could potentially be victims of discrimination. Although four cities prohibit business owners and supervisors from making employment decisions based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, 86 percent of Texas is still without protection from LGBT discrimination.

Transgender Discrimination in America

Transgender employees are consistently named as the group most discriminated against per capita, but little is being done to help them. In addition, America’s current obsession with the “bathroom issue” has stirred up a lot of undue anger toward transgender people and started a new wave of discrimination against LGBT people, transgender discrimination in particular.

LGBT Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The EEOC, the government entity responsible for enforcing America’s employment laws, has stated that they interpret the issue of LGBT discrimination as being prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. More specifically, they see sexual orientation and gender identity as part of sex discrimination, which is illegal across the nation. The EEOC went even further to say that their protections apply no matter what state or local law may say.

Because there is so much contradiction surrounding the issue, it’s best to consult with an employment lawyer about your own unique situation. An experienced employment law attorney will have more information and understanding of LGBT discrimination and what is or is not illegal.

Whether a person is hired, fired, promoted, demoted should depend entirely on their ability to do the job, and not on who they love, or which bathroom they use.

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