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Is Sexual Orientation Protected from Workplace Discrimination?

Recent laws regarding same-sex marriage rights in the country have changed many peoples’ perception of sexual orientation and equality as a whole. But despite these changes and beliefs, sexual orientation is not a protected class in the workplace. Some examples of protected classes are age, race, disability, and religion. If someone is discriminated against at work or by a potential employer due to his or her sexual orientation, no rules established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have been immediately violated.

However, that does not mean the individual facing the same-sex discrimination does not have a case at all. Many incidents of discrimination or harassment against workers for their sexual orientation can be traced to discrimination against their gender. A person’s gender is a protected class.

What is Gender Stereotyping?

The notion that one gender should or should not complete a task is not permitted in the workplace. Reinforcing, encouraging, or practicing this form of discrimination is known as gender stereotyping. If it can be shown that an employer has categorized tasks based on gender, or based on whether or not the employee is heterosexual or homosexual, it constitutes a form of gender stereotyping that violates an employee’s given rights.

At this point, a person might have an opportunity to create an employment lawsuit based on sexual orientation discrimination. A winning case could provide the plaintiff with restitution if benefits, wages, employment, or a promotion was denied due to his or her sexual orientation; each case will be different from the next, however, so it is important to understand what to expect by working with an employment law attorney.

If you need help with a same-sex discrimination case in Oklahoma, Mazaheri Law Firm can provide you with respected, experienced legal representation. Our Oklahoma City employment lawyers can tell you more about your rights and whether or not you have a claim during a free initial consultation. Contact us today to begin.

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