Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Under Maryland law and some local ordinances, every individual has the right to not be discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of his or her sexual orientation. This is one of the many rights protected under Maryland law. On the federal level, the courts are in disagreement as to whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Despite this conflict, however, Maryland law expressly forbids discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation. Unfortunately, many employees in Maryland are still discriminated against due to their sexuality. However, a Maryland sexual discrimination attorney can help protect your rights.

If you have experienced discrimination due to sexual orientation,  contact the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C., today at (410) 514-6099 to schedule a consultation

Types of Discrimination

Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation can take many forms. The discrimination may be direct or indirect, and it may be in the form of different treatment or harassment. Different treatment means a person is not promoted or hired, or is disciplined or fired, simply because a supervisor believes he or she is part of the LGBTQ community. Serious negative employment actions — an unfounded write-up in your personnel file or being overlooked for a promotion despite being a top candidate — can qualify as different treatment. The different treatment may come from several people in the company or just a few or even just one. Harassment, on the other hand, happens when a person is forced to experience comments about his or her sexual activity, mannerisms, requests for sexual favors, sexual jokes, unwanted touching or grabbing, pressure for dates, hostile comments, leering, gestures, pictures or drawings negatively portraying a specific sexual orientation, or rape or assault. The harasser may be a coworker, customer, supervisor or employer and can be of the same or opposite sex as the victim.

Simply put, discrimination based on sexual orientation means the victim is treated differently than other employees solely because of his or her real or perceived sexual orientation. It does not matter whether the perception of the victim’s sexual orientation is correct or not. Sexual orientation-based workplace discrimination may also happen based on a person’s association with someone of a particular sexual orientation. Discrimination based on sexual orientation may come in the form of different treatment because of his or her sex, gender identity, marital status, or disability (like actual or perceived HIV status).

Know Your Rights

There has never been a time in our history where employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender have had greater protections under the law when it comes to workplace discrimination than they do now. The State of Maryland specifically outlaws sexual orientation-based discrimination. Thus, employers are forbidden from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation when considering employment issues such as hiring, firing, promoting, salary or wage increases, offer of benefits, or interviewing potential candidates. It is not uncommon for sexual orientation discrimination to affect a victim’s working environment, job status, health benefits and several other aspects of the workplace. Therefore, it is important for employees to understand what rises to the level of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Likewise, how this type of discrimination may be linked to other prohibited forms of discrimination like those based on gender identity, sex, marital status, and disability.

Contact a Maryland Sexual Discrimination Attorney 

Members of the LGBTQ community have the right to be free from discrimination at the workplace based on their sexual orientation. This protection is written into both Maryland state law and our nation’s federal law. If you or someone you care about is facing workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, know that you do not have to go through this alone. The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford LLC can help explain your rights and obligations under local and federal employment discrimination laws and fight on your behalf. Call (410) 514-6099 or click here today to schedule an initial consultation with a Maryland sexual discrimination attorney.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

Mr. Stafford was fair and just, which is exactly what one hopes for in an attorney. He handled all rising issues in the best ways possible, and his choices and results were always good ones. I would hire Mr. Stafford again in a heartbeat, and would encourage anyone seeking litigation to do the same.