Steps LGBTQ+ Workers Can Take If They Experience Workplace Discrimination

LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ+ workers from discrimination the same way it protects other workers from discrimination. The Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against or harass workers based on their religion, where they are from, their sex, gender, color, orientation, and their race. 

If you are an LGBTQ+ worker that is experiencing discrimination at work you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and hold your employer accountable. The EEOC investigates all claims of workplace discrimination and harassment. The EEOC also has an agreement in place with 44 states to share information with the state labor authorities. 

Examples Of LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination

There are many types of discrimination that LGBTQ+ people experience but some of the common types include:

Getting Bad Shifts Or Not Enough Shifts

If you’re an hourly worker and you are consistently scheduled for shifts no one else wants to work, or if your shifts are cut and those hours given to someone else, that could be discrimination. 

Derogatory Comments or Slurs

Any and all comments, jokes, observations, slurs, or derogatory comments about LGBTQ+ people in the workplace are discrimination. Offensive imagery or comments that promote offensive stereotypes are also discrimination. 

Not Being Allowed To acknowledge a partner or spouse

If you’re not allowed to bring your partner or spouse to company events like a holiday party or cookout but straight people are encouraged to bring their spouses that’s discrimination. Or if you are told you can’t display photos of your partner or spouse on your desk but other employees have photos of their spouse and children on their desks that’s discrimination. 

Misgendering You on Purpose

Once you have officially changed your pronouns and asked your coworkers and boss to call you by your chosen pronouns if they refuse to do so that’s discrimination. It’s also discrimination for them to continually use your dead name. 

Filing A Workplace Discrimination Claim

It’s very important to document everything that is happening to you. Keep a list of every incident of harassment or discrimination. In Florida, you can file a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). The FCHR will then investigate your claim and determine the next course of action. They may determine you are owed compensation or suggest you file a civil lawsuit.

Penalties For Discrimination

If the EEOC finds that your employer is guilty of discrimination or allowing a hostile workplace environment, you could be entitled to a lump sum of money for pain and suffering. You also may receive money for lost wages or raises that you should have been receiving but never got. Your employer could end up facing criminal penalties and huge fines.


Protections Against Employment Discrimination: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/protections-against-employment-discrimination-based-sexual-orientation-or-gender 

Discrimination in the Workplace: https://www.employmentlawhelp.org/employment-discrimination 

Gender Discrimination: https://www.employmentlawhelp.org/discrimination/prove-gender-discrimination-workplace 

File a Complaint: https://fchr.myflorida.com/employment 

***Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

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