When you are at your place of employment, you have the right to expect equal and fair treatment. Employers cannot act in ways that are discriminatory toward their employees, and experiencing this type of treatment could qualify as discrimination. It is illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of his or her age, gender and other factors, including sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation discrimination happens when someone receives different treatment simply on the basis of his or her perceived sexual orientation. Even if the perceptions about you are inaccurate, this type of treatment is completely unacceptable in the workplace. If you believe you are a victim, you do not have to remain silent. There are legal options available to you, including the possibility of pursuing legal action.
How can you know if you are a victim?
There are specific types of treatment that could qualify as discrimination, and it may be helpful to understand if what you are experiencing counts. You may have grounds to seek legal recourse if you are experiencing the following:
- Different and unfair treatment — It could be discrimination if you do not receive equal treatment in decisions related to hiring, termination, promotion, training, assignments, and more. Serious negative employment situations could be the result of your coworkers’ actions, or it could come directly from management or even from customers.
- Harassment — Harassment includes aggressive or demeaning treatment as a result of your actual or perceived sexual orientation. This may include inappropriate jokes, requests for dates, unwanted physical contact, hostile comments and more. Harassment may make you feel unsafe or unwelcome in your workplace.
Sexual orientation is a personal and sensitive matter. Your mistreatment in the workplace could be a result of discriminatory treatment, and you do not have to suffer through this in silence. By speaking out, you may be able to pursue justice, hold the appropriate parties accountable and protect others from experiencing similar treatment in the future.
As a victim of discrimination in your Washington, D.C. metro area workplace, you have rights. It may be appropriate to pursue a civil claim – a course of action that allows you to seek compensation for your losses. You may have grounds to fight for damages for your emotional distress, lost wages, and other damages.