You may already know that your sexual identity by no means affects your job performance. So it is nothing less than devastating when an employer removes you from the workplace upon learning that you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Continue reading to learn your protections as an LGBTQ+ employee and how an experienced employment discrimination attorney in Gloucester County, NJ, at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C., can fight for your rights.
Am I protected as an LGBTQ+ employee in the workplace?
As an LGBTQ+ employee working in the state of New Jersey, you must understand that you are protected under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD). This Law holds that an employer cannot fire an employee; pay an employee less; refuse to promote an employee; refuse to hire an applicant; or otherwise discriminate against an employee or applicant simply based on a protected class.
Originally, LAD considered protected classes to be race, color, national origin, etc. But in 1991, this Law was amended to also protect affectional or sexual orientation. This includes your actual or perceived sexual inclinations, practices, identity, expression, or history. And in 2006, this Law included gender identity and expression. This includes your actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expressions, or other gender-related characteristics regardless of the sex you were assigned at birth.
This is not to mention the federal law of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And while this Act was similarly established to protect classes such as race, color, national origin, etc., many cases have gone all the way to federal court for sexual orientation claims.
What should I do if I am wrongfully terminated due to my sexual orientation?
You must strongly consider legal action against your employer if you are wrongfully terminated or otherwise discriminated against due to your sexual orientation. This may just be the only way that you can receive compensatory damages for your economic damages (i.e., current and future lost wages) and non-economic damages (i.e., emotional distress).
Further, you must understand that it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for bringing a wrongful termination complaint forward. And even if your employer did not terminate you, it is equally wrong for them to create a work environment that is so unpleasant that you feel forced to leave (i.e., scrutiny, threats, harassment, etc). This is all to say that fear of punishment or a hostile work environment should not deter you from fighting for justice.
Regarding your wrongful termination claim, there is no time like the present to get started. So please reach out to a skilled Gloucester County, New Jersey wrongful termination lawyer from The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. at your earliest possible convenience.