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What is sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace?

There are several different forms of workplace discrimination that can occur. In our previous blog post, we discussed religious discrimination. There is another form of workplace discrimination that has gotten a lot more prevalent in the public's eye recently -- sexual orientation discrimination.

What is sexual orientation discrimination?

Sexual orientation discrimination refers to any actions by an employer or another employee that are based on your sexual orientation. This can include discrimination that is based on the person's perceptions of you. For example, if you are treated differently because your boss thinks you are gay, you are a victim of sexual orientation discrimination even if you are actually heterosexual.

Are laws in place to protect me from discrimination based on my sexual orientation?

Yes, there are federal and state laws that protect workers from discrimination in the workplace. It is important for you to understand the specific protections that you are afforded, which depend to some extent on where you work. For example, there are federal laws that give specific protections to federal employees that aren't extended to private sector employees.

What are some examples of sexual orientation discrimination?

The types of discrimination you might be subjected to can vary greatly. Being passed over for promotions is one example of a discriminatory action. Being called names or having to listen to slurs that are based on sexual orientation are other examples. In any case of workplace discrimination, you have the right to put an end to the discrimination.

Learning your options for stopping the discrimination can help you to decide on a course of action.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace," accessed July 16, 2015

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