Despite increasing acceptance and protections, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals still experience discrimination and harassment in the workplace. No matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity is, you deserve fair and respectful treatment. Whenever someone suffers mistreatment for their sexual orientation or gender presentation, it is troubling and disturbing.
Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity can take many forms. These are all examples of LGBT discrimination in Florida workplaces noted in a report from the Williams Institute.
1. Offensive terms and stereotyping
You may have been the victim of bullying and derogatory terms in the past. This type of behavior sometimes happens on the job. Whether the abusive language is coming from a customer, a co-worker or a supervisor, it is unacceptable.
People may use slurs or make offensive comments about an employee’s sexual orientation. For example, the Williams Institute found that an airline worker in Florida had a manager who referred to him as “Tinkerbell” and “the homo.”
2. Termination or denial of opportunities
Some employers might wrongly terminate or take other improper actions against LGBT workers. In one instance an employer passed over a transgender woman for a laboratory technician job and also fired her from her contractual job when she used her preferred gender and name on an application. Other examples include the denial of benefits or the loss of a job because of sexual preferences or gender expression.
3. Sexual assault
In the worst cases, LGBT people are the victims of sexual assault, battery or rape. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people may suffer abuse or receive threats at work.
Seek help if your rights are being violated
Any type of discrimination or harassment against LGBT people is unacceptable. If you experience such problems at your workplace, speak to your manager or HR office, or seek legal counsel if you feel your concerns are not being addressed.