Aug 04, 2016
By Peter Friedmann

The Columbus, Ohio discrimination lawyers at The Friedmann Firm handle all types of discrimination cases for Ohio’s employees.  Several discrimination claims can be brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio’s laws against discrimination, O.R.C. 4112.  These laws prevent employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of several “protected classes,” including race, gender, pregnancy, religion, sex (gender and sexual harassment) and national origin.  Claims for disability discrimination can also be brought pursuant to O.R.C. 4112 and are governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Until recently, individuals discriminated against because of their sexual orientation (LGBTQ) and/or gender behavior were not protected by Title VII.  However, the landscare for these types of claims is rapidly changing, as the EEOC just settled its first discrimination lawsuit for discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender stereotypes.

Sexual orientation discrimination claims and gender stereotyping discrimination claims are emerging thanks to the provisions of Title VII.  Our Ohio sexual orientation discrimination attorneys speak to individuals on a regular basis who are subject to unlawful treatment at work because of their sexual orientation or because of gender non-conformity.  Until this point, we have been very frustrated by the inability to help these employees from a legal standpoint.  However, now it appears that these claims are becoming actionable, a very positive change for members of the LGBTQ community.

The EEOC settled its first lawsuits alleging sex discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender stereotyping in June of 2016.  This will likely be the first in a long line of cases addressing these issues.  Our Columbus LGBT discrimination lawyers are well versed in this constantly changing area of the law.  On June 28, 2016, the EEOC announced that Pallet Companies (doing business as IFCO Systems) will pay $202,000.00 to the plaintiff in this lawsuit, who alleged she was discriminated against at work because she is a lesbian and does not conform to the employer’s “norms” for her gender.  Her supervisor made numerous comments to her like, “I want you to turn back into a woman,” and “You would look good in a dress.”  This is extremely demeaning conduct that no employee should have to put up with.  We strongly believe that every employee is entitled to work in an environment free from harassment and ridicule.  If you or anyone you know is dealing with this type of harassment at work, you should speak with one of our Ohio sexual orientation discrimination lawyers about the situation.

The settlement of this case is a huge win for discrimination lawyers and employees everywhere.  This is the first case alleging sex discrimination based on sexual orientation under Title VII that has been settled by the EEOC.  For the full text of the opinion and more information on this case, visit this link: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/…/bulletins/15231c2.

If you have questions about sexual orientation discrimination or are being harassed at work because you identify as LGBTQ, contact our LGBT discrimination lawyers today for a free consultation.  We will help you fight for equal treatment in the workplace.