Jacksonville Sexual orientation and Gender identity Discrimination Lawyer
How Laws Protecting LGBTQ+ Employees Have Evolved
For much of its history, the State of Florida had no law explicitly outlawing the discrimination of employees based on gender identity or sexual orientation. In 2017, the City of Jacksonville formally revised its Human Rights Ordinance to include protections for LGBTQ+ individuals.
A landmark Supreme Court decision extended protection to LGBTQ+ workers across the United States in 2020, meaning Florida workers with LGBTQ+ identities now enjoy discrimination protections in the workplace. The Court’s decision ruled that LGBTQ+ employees were included in the protections offered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically on the legislation’s prohibition of discrimination “on the basis of sex” clause. This ruling was in line with comparable expansionist interpretations of the law.
This means it is illegal for an employer to fire, demote, discipline, deny a promotion, refuse to hire, reduce hours, or otherwise discriminate against an employee due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. For example, you might have a case if you came out to your supervisor as transgender and saw an abrupt reduction in your work hours. You might also have a case if you revealed you are a lesbian and were consequently fired.
If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should seek the guidance of an experienced Jacksonville sexual orientation discrimination lawyer at the The Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A..
If you’ve suffered negative employment action or harassment based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, contact the The Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A. online or call (904) 638-9943. Learn how we can advocate for you.
Can You Be Fired For Your Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity?
In Florida and throughout the United States, the laws regarding employment protections for sexual orientation vary. While federal law, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, does not explicitly include sexual orientation as a protected characteristic, the United States Supreme Court Decision of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia on June 15,2020, expressly recognized that discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status is considered a form of sex discrimination, which is protected under federal law.
Although, the Florida Civil Rights Act does not explicitly recognize sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes, it is patterned after Title VII. Thus, Florida workers are protected from employment discrimination based upon their sexual orientation and gender identity as well.
How Federal Protections Intersect With Florida’s At-Will Employment
Florida is an employment-at-will state, meaning an employer can generally terminate you for almost any reason. Exceptions do exist for instances of unlawful discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ+ status. It is also unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for complaining about sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination.
However, it can be very challenging to prove an employer has engaged in discrimination or retaliation versus simply firing someone within their rights in an at-will state. Many employers will point to the state’s at-will status to justify firings that are actually motivated by unlawful discrimination, including those on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Even so, you may still have a case if your employer fires you under Florida’s at-will status if you believe the termination was actually a result of your LGBTQ+ identity. Such legal disagreements are difficult to navigate on your own, so if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated or otherwise discriminated against because of your gender identity or sexual orientation, or any other reason, it is best to hire a sexual orientation discrimination lawyer in Jacksonville to advocate for your case in and out of the courtroom.
What Legal Remedies Are Available For Victims Of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination?
Victims of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination have legal remedies available to seek justice and compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Below are some common legal remedies that may be available for those with a case:
- Filing a complaint with a government agency: You may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). These agencies investigate claims of discrimination and may attempt to resolve the matter through mediation or take legal action on your behalf.
- Pursuing a lawsuit: If the discrimination complaint is not resolved through the administrative process, victims may choose to file a lawsuit against the employer. An experienced sexual orientation/gender identity discrimination lawyer in Jacksonville, FL at can guide you through the process, help build your case, and represent your interests in court.
- Seeking compensatory and punitive damages: You may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including back pay, front pay, lost benefits, emotional distress damages, and attorney's fees. In certain cases, punitive damages may also be available as a means to punish the employer for their discriminatory actions.
- Requesting injunctive relief: In addition to monetary damages, you may seek injunctive relief to stop discriminatory behavior and implement policies and procedures that prevent future discrimination in the workplace.
It is essential to consult with a skilled sexual orientation/gender identity discrimination lawyer who can evaluate the specific details of your case and guide you through the available legal remedies. Turn to the attorneys at The Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A. who specialize in representing victims of sexual orientation discrimination and have extensive experience in handling LGBTQ+ discrimination and gender discrimination cases.
At The Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A., our LGBTQ+ discrimination lawyers prioritize one-on-one communication, offer remote communication options, and flexible appointment availability, including weekends and after-hours. An attorney with more than 20 years of experience can bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to your case, increasing the chances of achieving a successful outcome.
Protect Your Future With Our Help
Our team at the The Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A. understands that experiencing workplace discrimination as a result of your gender identity or sexual orientation can be frightening, infuriating, and embarrassing. You deserve to have your rights vigorously defended by a firm committed to advocating for your interests. Our Jacksonville sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination attorney has over 20 years of legal experience and can review the specifics of your case and strategize on how to get you justice. We are prepared to give your situation the personalized, compassionate attention it deserves.