Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Discrimination Based On Your Sexual Orientation Or Perceived Orientation
Sexual orientation has nothing to do with your job performance. Thankfully, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits any employer, school or even party in a contract from discriminating against you on the basis of your sexual orientation, perceived or “affectional” sexual orientation, or even suspected sexual orientation. That means the law protects all victims of sexual orientation discrimination, even people who are not lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The law will also protect you from discrimination in cases where you are thought to be LGBTQ, when it’s suggested that you are, or when you are incorrectly believed to be. One of the benefits of this is that your employer cannot defend itself with arguments about your “actual” sexual orientation.
LGBTQ Workers Face Frequent Discrimination
In New Jersey, there’s no excuse and no justification, either religious or otherwise, to support discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Despite having the protection of the law, sexual orientation discrimination is still common. Employers can and should be held accountable for their abuse of your rights.
Costello & Mains, LLC, has been at the forefront of protecting LGBTQ civil and employment rights in this state. Kevin Costello is a member of the Board of Garden State Equality, and both he and Deborah Mains have spoken on numerous occasions in the media and at public and other events in support of marriage and other civil rights for LGBTQ people in New Jersey.
Sexual orientation discrimination can result in adverse job actions such as termination, failure to promote, wrongful termination and demotion. Sometimes the discrimination is obvious and is supported by speech or conduct, which leaves little doubt as to the thinking of the discriminator. Sometimes, however, this discrimination is hidden behind a facade of justifications and excuses for the discrimination.
Sexual orientation discrimination isn’t always easy to label. Discrimination can be sexual orientation discrimination when it focuses on the “proper” or “normal” gender or sexual role that a person “should” portray. For example, a woman who dresses in men’s clothes and doesn’t wear makeup or who doesn’t sport a feminine hairstyle might be accused of acting in a way that goes against the “gender norm” or the “gender stereotype” for how a woman should behave, look, act or speak. That’s a type of discrimination that can sometimes mask or bear close relationship to sexual orientation discrimination, gender role discrimination and gender stereotype discrimination.
At Costello & Mains, LLC, we have been litigating LGBTQ employment and civil rights cases for much of our careers. Our New Jersey employment law attorneys are philosophically and legally committed to advancing those rights in the courts of New Jersey.