Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a reality in many workplaces in Texas. This type of discrimination can occur at any point during employment, including the hiring process.
If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of your perceived or actual sexual orientation, it's important to understand a number of legal matters that are specific to this type of discrimination.
Although state and federal laws prohibit certain kinds of workplace discrimination, there is no statewide Texas law, nor is there a federal law, that specifically prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in private-sector workplaces. However, employers may have workplace policies that specifically address this type of discrimination, and state and federal laws do protect you from other violations, such as:
- Harassment, including sexual harassment
- Hostile work environment
- Invasion of privacy
- Interference with an employment contract
- Offensive touching
- Intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress
- Wrongful termination
If you believe that you have been unfairly treated in the workplace due to your sexual orientation or gender identity, you have a right to seek legal guidance. Explore your options for filing a civil claim, holding the wrongdoer accountable, and receiving any compensation to which you may be entitled.
Am I a victim of discrimination?
Workplace discrimination occurs under a wide variety of circumstances. Here are some common situations involving discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation:
- Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is often directed at individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, although this type of discrimination is also sometimes directed at individuals who are heterosexual.
- Discriminatory or differential treatment can be based on a person's perceived or actual sexual orientation.
- You might have grounds for a civil claim if your employer fires you, demotes you, overlooks you for a deserved promotion, or otherwise treats you unfairly on the basis of your sexual orientation.
Experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace can be overwhelming. You may feel unsure of where to begin, but a smart first step is to simply reach out for help. To learn more about standing up to workplace discrimination, please see our overview of employee representation.