Michigan LGBTQ Discrimination Lawyers
The emotional distress suffered by LGBTQ individuals who are discriminated against in the workplace can dramatically impair their mental and physical health, as well as their overall financial situations. In 2022, everyone should be able to work in a safe and healthy environment. Yet, employment discrimination still occurs with shocking frequency, especially among members of the LGBTQ community.
If you have been unfairly treated, wrongfully terminated, or otherwise discriminated against based on your status as an LGBTQ individual, you have rights. It is in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced LGBTQ workplace discrimination attorney. Contact the skilled legal team at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What Is LGBTQ Employment Discrimination?
Sex-based discrimination occurs when someone is mistreated based on their sex. For example, if a male job applicant is hired over a more-qualified female job applicant, she may be a victim of sex-based employment discrimination. LGBTQ employment discrimination further expands the definition of sex-based discrimination by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2020 alone, 1,857 charges of LGBTQ discrimination were filed, totaling $6 million in monetary benefits.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers and job applicants are protected under federal discrimination law. A Michigan LGBTQ workplace discrimination attorney can help you determine your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve if you’ve been a victim of employment discrimination.
Michigan and Federal LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Laws
Under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, employment discrimination based on several categories is prohibited. However, the Act does not currently or explicitly include sexual orientation or gender identity. While expanding the Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity remains up for debate, state protections for LBTQ workers remain limited.
Federal protections are another story, however. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees and job applicants based on sex, which encompasses gender identity and sexual orientation under federal law. Since the EEOC interprets and enforces Title VII, the EEOC prohibits LGBTQ employment discrimination based on:
- Gender transition.
- Wrongful termination.
- Denial of spousal benefits.
Legal Options for Victims of LGBTQ Employment Discrimination
If you have been discriminated against because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you can file a complaint against your employer at both state and federal levels. Although Michigan doesn’t yet recognize LGBTQ discrimination as a basis for employment discrimination, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) does include LGBTQ discrimination under its broader prohibition of sex discrimination. Therefore, you may be entitled to obtain compensation for any damages suffered, under both state and federal law.
Common damages for victims of LGBTQ employment discrimination include:
- Lost income.
- Job search expenses.
- Relocation expenses.
- Punitive damages.
Contact a Michigan LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination Lawyer Today
If you have been harassed or discriminated against at work due to your gender identity or sexual orientation, the skilled legal team at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., can help. Our knowledgeable attorneys will ensure you fully understand your rights and options, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining maximum compensation for our clients in a timely manner. Do not go through this emotional, stressful experience without a skilled, compassionate discrimination lawyer by your side. You don’t need to suffer in silence for one more day. Contact Sommers Schwartz, P.C., today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.