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AG calls for investigation into LGBT discrimination reports

Even federal workers in Florida may face discrimination on the job, according to a number of complaints filed by LGBT workers at the Department of Justice. Responding to concerns raised by DOJ Pride, an organization representing LGBT employees, federal Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons and the FBI to investigate discrimination complaints. DOJ Pride includes thousands of workers at a range of agencies included in the federal department. It had earlier asked Barr to sign a statement about equal employment opportunity at the department and indicated problems raised in a survey of members.

Among other issues, the advocacy group noted that LGBT agents at the FBI academy had faced different standards for evaluation and other forms of discrimination. Some gay agents reported being dismissed from the academy after being perceived as insufficiently masculine. In addition, the group noted that gay men and transgender people have found it difficult to obtain employment at the Bureau of Prisons. It also noted reports that the DOJ as a whole was less friendly to LGBT workers than it had been in the past and that the environment had become less inclusive.

Barr responded to the letter saying that he was “troubled” by reports of discrimination against and low morale by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees at the department. As required by law, he signed a policy regarding equal employment opportunity that affirmed that employees at the department cannot be fired or denied hiring on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

Despite significant advances in social rights over the years, many LGBT workers continue to face discrimination in hiring and employment. Someone who has suffered workplace consequences due to their sexual orientation or gender identity may want to consult with a lawyer experienced in handling discrimination lawsuits.

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