Adam Dupuis's picture

#MeToo Just the Beginning of Being Aware of Rights As An (LGBT) Employee?

 

I did not post the #MeToo to any of my personal social media accounts for I've been fortunate that sexual assault has not happened to me.  I cannot imagine being in anyone's shoes that has gone through such an ordeal.  It is a brave thing to take a stand against such a horrible act done to you by a fellow human being.

The wave of #MeToo posts on the internet is troubling.  Troubling and sad because there are so many. All types, shapes, genders, sexual orientations, sizes, and races of people have been seen with the hash tag that is allowing people to reclaim their power. Will the openness and these statements of unity against an inhumane evil make people step forward about other workplace atrocities?

Florida Attorney William Julien recently posted "Three Examples of LGBT Discrimination and Harassment at Work."

Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity can take many forms. These are all examples of LGBT discrimination in Florida workplaces noted in a report from the Williams Institute.

1. Offensive terms and stereotyping

You may have been the victim of bullying and derogatory terms in the past. This type of behavior sometimes happens on the job. Whether the abusive language is coming from a customer, a co-worker or a supervisor, it is unacceptable.

People may use slurs or make offensive comments about an employee's sexual orientation. For example, the Williams Institute found that an airline worker in Florida had a manager who referred to him as "Tinkerbell" and "the homo." 

2. Termination or denial of opportunities

Some employers might wrongly terminate or take other improper actions against LGBT workers. In one instance an employer passed over a transgender woman for a laboratory technician job and also fired her from her contractual job when she used her preferred gender and name on an application. Other examples include the denial of benefits or the loss of a job because of sexual preferences or gender expression. 

3. Sexual assault

In the worst cases, LGBT people are the victims of sexual assault, battery or rape. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people may suffer abuse or receive threats at work.

Any type of discrimination or harassment against LGBT people is unacceptable. If you experience such problems at your workplace, speak to your manager or HR office, or seek legal counsel if you feel your concerns are not being addressed. You may find help at work to prevail over such acts, unfortunately some states cannot legally help you.

Documented evidence shows that LGBT people face employment discrimination across the country, including in Florida. There is currently no statewide law that prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida. Adding these characteristics to the Florida Civil Rights Act would provide protection from discrimination to approximately 328,000 LGBT workers in the state. - williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu

We hope that the #MeToo movement will empower others to speak up against all discrimination, harassment, and workplace mistreatment.