Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Despite the myriad of laws protecting your civil rights, men and women are harassed and discriminated against at work every single day. One particularly susceptible population is the gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender community. Were you tormented at work due to your sexual orientation? Did an employer refuse to hire you? You are not alone. More and more good, hard-working people like you have been discriminated against – and more and more good people are fighting back. Now, it’s your turn.

With superior legal counsel from the vigorous discrimination lawyers at the Arce Law Group, you now have the power to stand up to your employer. We advocate on behalf of employees of all sexual orientations, from gay to straight, lesbian to transgender. We take on every viable case with an open mind and a passion for positive results.

From our office in Newark, NJ, the Arcè Law Group serves clients in Newark, Jersey City, Princeton, and across New Jersey. Additionally, our attorneys operate out of offices in New York City and Pennsylvania. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination and New Jersey Law

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) protects people of all sexualities and genders from discrimination. While the LAD was first enacted in 1945, New Jersey consistently revises its discrimination laws to reflect changes in society. Protected classes, such as sexual orientation, continue to be added to the law. Thus, employers are prohibited from making employment decisions based on a person’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.

The law is equally applicable to men and women. The sexual orientations specifically included are:

  • Heterosexuality – attraction to people of the opposite gender
  • Homosexuality – attraction to people of the same gender
  • Bisexuality – attraction to people of both genders
  • Transgender – a person whose gender identity and/or expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth

Additionally, “gender identity” and “expression” are covered, which refers to a person’s individual sense of what it means to be a man or woman. Gender identity includes exhibiting or not exhibiting stereotypically “masculine” or “feminine” traits as well as your personal sense of what it means to be a man or a woman.

I have been discriminated against for being gay, but I’m not gay. What do I do?

The LAD covers “sexual orientation” as well as “perceived sexual orientation.” In some instances, an employee may be discriminated against or harassed for being gay, when in fact he or she does not identity as homosexual. This would be perceived sexual orientation – and it is still covered under the law.

What Qualifies as Discrimination?

Discrimination applies to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, pay increases, pay decreases, and demotions. Additionally, discrimination refers to how you are treated at work – so, harassing someone due to his or her sexual orientation is illegal.

Gay and Lesbian Harassment at Work in New Jersey

If you are being harassed at work because you are gay, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, or other type of sexuality, this could be considered discrimination. If the conduct is so severe or pervasive that it causes a hostile work environment, you may be able file a lawsuit.

What is a hostile work environment?
If you have been tormented so severely that your professional and personal are negatively affected, it could constitute a hostile work environment. In most cases, a one-time incident, teasing, or offensive comments are not enough to be considered a hostile work environment.

However, if you have been consistently called derogatory names, physically assaulted, been sent threatening notes, emails, or texts, and otherwise have been tortured at work, you may have a claim for harassment.

In some instances, if a one or two-time incident was so severe, you might also be entitled to compensation through legal action.

What Does Sexual Orientation Harassment and Discrimination Look Like?

Depending on the work environment, discrimination and harassment could look very different. Sometimes the misconduct is subtle, while in other situations, discrimination is an accepted part of the company culture. Some specific examples include:

  • Being called “gay,” “homo,” or “faggot”
  • Having anti-homosexual religious doctrine preached at your work
  • Being slapped, punched, struck, or otherwise physically assaulted
  • Being told you would have never been promoted had management known you were gay
  • Being sent anti-homosexual propaganda via email
  • Being told to put away a photograph of your same-sex partner

This is but a small sampling of potentially discriminatory behaviors. If you have evidence of harassment and discrimination, bring it to one of our compassionate discrimination lawyers in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania. At the Arce Law Group, we are here to help.

What if someone of the same sex is harassing me?
Same-sex harassment and discrimination is still illegal. The misconduct does not have to come from the opposite sex to be unlawful.

Does it qualify as discrimination if the harassment comes from a co-worker, not a boss?
Yes, co-worker harassment and discrimination is also illegal. Under the law, it is illegal for a boss, supervisor, co-worker, or subordinate to discriminate against another employee. In fact, harassment by a customer, outside vendor, or contract worker might also be considered illegal. Ask our attorneys for more information.

Contact a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyer in NJ Right Away

Do not delay in seeking a legal remedy for your employment discrimination case. The attorneys at the Arcè Law Group want your suffering to end. We want to help you get out of a bad situation. Let us review your potential legal case today. Contact us today online by or calling 212.248.0120.

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