Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Can You Take Legal Action? By William Chanfrau, Jr. on March 28, 2019

A man working at a computerFederal law protects workers from employment discrimination. One type of employment discrimination is sexual orientation discrimination. This occurs when an employee is treated differently due to his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation.

At Chanfrau & Chanfrau in Daytona Beach, FL, we believe in equality and will fight for your civil rights and compensation for any civil rights violations. If you have been treated unfairly in the workplace due to your sexual orientation, contact our office to schedule a time for us to review your case.

What Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Treating an individual differently due to his or her sexual orientation is a form of discrimination. Sexual orientation discrimination can take the form of unfair treatment or harassment and can occur based on real or perceived orientation.

Heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, and other sexual orientations are protected against discrimination under federal law.

What Is Considered Unfair Treatment?

Different or unfair treatments can occur in many aspects of the workplace, such as:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Promotions
  • Disciplinary actions

Some companies have policies that explicitly discriminate against certain sexual orientations.

In other cases, discrimination can be less obvious. For example, your coworkers or supervisors are engaging in discrimination if they begin treating you differently after you come out or display a picture of a same-sex partner or on your desk.


Any actions that create an unsafe or hostile work environment can be considered harassment. These actions may include comments about your mannerisms, sexual jokes, leering, gestures, or even sexual assault.

Harassment can come from many sources, including an employer, supervisor, customer, or coworker.

Depending on the specifics of your case, we can file a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit to protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.

Protecting Your Rights

Unfortunately, at this time, sexual orientation does not fall under the same protections as race, sex, religion, age, and disability. While federal employees are protected under an executive order signed in 2014, employees in the private sector are not.

However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interprets and enforces the protections against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as forbidding employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, we have the advanced understanding of federal and state law necessary to defend your civil liberties. Depending on the specifics of your case, we can file a sexual harassment or gender discrimination lawsuit to protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve. Our team will work to hold employers responsible for their unfair actions.

Why Hire an Attorney?

Companies and employers often have legal teams dedicated to protecting their interests. Without the help of a skilled legal professional, it can be difficult to collect anything in a workplace discrimination suit. You may even be forced to pay your employer for the expenses they incur while defending the suit.

The team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help. For more specific information, contact our office online or call us at (386) 258-7313 to schedule a case evaluation.

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Attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Chanfrau & Chanfrau

Chanfrau & Chanfrau has been serving Floridians in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas since 1976. With three attorneys and two locations, we have the resources to help you after an accident or injury. We are proud of our many achievements, including inclusion in:

  • America's Top 100 Attorneys
  • The National Trial Attorneys Top 100 List
  • Florida Trend's Florida Legal Elite

For more information about our legal services, contact our firm online or call (386) 258-7313 today.

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