Times have changed rapidly within the past decade, with marriage equality becoming the law of the land and with social attitudes progressing concerning sexual orientation. However, many people have not opened their minds and their hearts. And, unfortunately, some of these people happen to be employers, managers and others who may have a stake in the professional futures of the same people they discriminate against. Certain attitudes have become entrenched across an array of sectors, and it can be challenging to combat prejudices that are essentially institutional.
What Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace?
This type of discrimination can come in a variety of forms, so it is essential to explore the particular circumstances of each scenario. Sexual orientation discrimination occurs whenever someone is targeted or harassed in the workplace as a result of their orientation. For instance, a supervisor could discover details of a subordinate’s lifestyle and then gossip with other employees about it. Perhaps an employee could be up for a big promotion, but then a co-worker informs them that the person up for the promotion is pansexual. Suddenly, the opportunity disappears. Whenever you’re asexual, bisexual, gay or other, you may face targeted discrimination or harassment as a result of just being who you are. Sometimes, the effects may be so subtle that it’s difficult to prove. However, it is crucial to note that this type of discrimination is always illegal.
What Are Some Examples of Sexual Orientation Discrimination at Work?
Examples of this discrimination can be so ingrained in a workplace’s culture that workers barely even notice when they occur anymore. This is why it can be helpful to speak with a sexual orientation discrimination lawyer who can assess the information that you provide and then run a detailed analysis of the situation. Although you may have become accustomed to it, perhaps the “jokes” that another department sends to you through IM are inappropriate. This type of discrimination is often disguised or dismissed as a joke, so it’s important to reassess all of your interactions at work. It’s rarely as straightforward and easy as an email between two managers that discusses your orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination often creeps in subtly, but its effects can be far-reaching. When your position is threatened, or you’re not even considered for a certain promotion because your boss believes that your orientation could make the executives nervous, it’s time to reevaluate the environment in which you are working.