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 employment law attorney.
If you’ve suffered negative employment action or harassment based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, contact the Law Office of Shands M. Wulbern, P.A. today to learn how we can advocate for you.
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 discrimination lawyer to advocate for your case in and out of the courtroom.
Protect Your Future With Our Help
Our team at 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.