Which Federal Law Covers Sexual Orientation Discrimination? By Dan Atkerson on June 24, 2023

A man at work looking at his computerState and federal laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on several different factors, including race, religion, age, disability, and sex. While Texas laws do not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, federal law does.

Employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson works with victims of sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace to hold employers accountable for discrimination damages. He is happy to help workers in Allen, TX, Frisco, TX, and Plano, TX, understand the sexual orientation discrimination protections provided by federal law, along with their legal options should they be subject to discrimination in the workplace.

Federal Protections from Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that protects employees from workplace discrimination. Under the original act, it is illegal for employers to subject employees to discrimination based on the following:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Disability

Title VII does not explicitly state sexual orientation as a protected category. However, as of 2020, the court has ruled that Title VII protects employers from discrimination based on perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.

In 2020, the Supreme Court heard the case of Bostock v. Clayton County. The case included several workers claiming workplace discrimination against LGBTQ+ members based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination based on sex included protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

Who Is Protected from Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Protections provided by Title VII apply to all covered employees in every state and U.S. territory. Title VII covers employees of private-sector employers and federal, state, and local government employers with 15 or more employees. Anti-discrimination protections apply to:

  • Job applicants
  • Full and part-time employees
  • Temporary or seasonal employees
  • Former employees

Examples of Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Workplace discrimination can be exhibited in many different ways. Title VII prohibits any job-related decisions based on sexual orientation. Examples of sexual orientation discrimination include:

  • Making hiring or firing decisions based on sexual orientation
  • Denying a promotion or job training experience based on sexual orientation
  • Limiting job positions as a result of sexual orientation
  • Paying a worker less than other employees based on sexual orientation
  • Basing work benefits on sexual orientation

In addition, Title VII prohibits workplace harassment based on sexual orientation. Workers may have a sexual orientation discrimination case if they are subject to offensive remarks about sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, or if they are subject to any other behavior that creates a hostile work environment.

Can I Sue for Workplace Discrimination?

Individuals who believe they have been subject to workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation should report their claim to a knowledgeable workplace discrimination lawyer, such as Dan A. Atkerson. Mr. Atkerson can assist workers in filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and discuss other legal options. Discriminated employees may have grounds to file a civil suit to pursue compensation for damages related to workplace discrimination.

Contact Us

If you believe you have been a victim of workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson can advise you of the legal projections provided by federal law. To schedule a case review, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience.

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Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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