Personal Injury Blog


Federal Agencies Release Updated Guide on Employment Rights of LGBT Workers

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Four federal agencies have come up with an updated manual that aims to educate lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender workers on the rights available to them under the law. The four agencies are the US Office of Personnel Management, the US Office of Special Counsel, the US Merit Systems Protection Board and Equal Employment Diversity Commission.

The manual titled Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections and Responsibilities is being issued in a brand-new form. It is more than a decade since the manual was last updated, and the new version contains several revisions that are designed to reflect the changes in the law.

Basically, the manual provides LGBT workers with a clear picture of all their rights and responsibilities in the employment sector. It explains to them the kind of behavior that could constitute discrimination, based on sexual orientation or gender, and also informs them of all the legal options that they have when they are faced with such discrimination.

The manual also clearly defines what are the definitions of key terms like gender identity and sexual orientation as well as the responsibilities of each individual agency in helping promote workplaces that are free from such discrimination.

If you are an LGBT worker, who is currently facing discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you may have legal options to address your concerns. Speak to a California employment lawyer about your legal options, and ascertain your rights. You could possibly file a claim that can help you acquire damages for your losses.

Feds Ally with Transgender Advocacy Group To Enhance Workplace Protection

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is working together with a leading transgender advocacy group to increase workplace health and safety protections for transgender workers.

There are specific concerns that transgender employees have, and the new alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Center for Transgender Equality is specifically aimed at helping create a healthy workplace for transgender workers.

For instance, transgender workers do have a complaint about managers refusing to refer to them with their changed name after the transition, and also complain about the lack of access to separate restrooms that are appropriate for transgender workers. These are the some of the issues that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Transgender Equality will keep in mind, as they move forward and develop recommended best practices for employers. The aim is to encourage companies across the United States to implement the recommendations in order to create a more inclusive and safe environment for transgender workers.

The federal administration has been working to ease restrictions on transgender workers. For instance, last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that transgender workers face several restrictions including their supervisor’s failure to consider name changes, and that these are a violation of anti-discrimination laws. That decision came in a case involving a civilian employee in the Army, who was working at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center in Alabama. When she tried to use the women's restroom after her transition in 2010, she was confronted by a supervisor, who insisted on using her male name. This is the kind of situation that the new alliance aims to eliminate.

California Prohibits Discrimination against LGBT Employees

Saturday, November 01, 2014

California is one among several states that expressly prohibits workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. The state prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation and gender identity.

Employers in the state must respect the fact that their workplaces are now very sexually diverse. California employers are responsible for providing employees with a workplace, that protects them from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although there is no full-fledged federal law that prohibits discrimination against lesbians, gays, and transgender employees in private employment, there is an Executive Order that specifically prohibits the federal government from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation. However, if private employers in California must follow the state law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, in spite of the fact that there is no federal law yet that bans such discrimination.

California's law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and if a plaintiff files a discrimination lawsuit based on LGBT discrimination and the case goes to a jury, it is likely that plaintiffs will find a jury that is in their favor. According to recent survey, Americans across the board now seem to be in favor of a inclusive workplaces, and zero discrimination against homosexuals, lesbians and transgender persons.

According to the survey, as many as 55% of the more than 2,500 people who were surveyed believed that no employer should be granted exemption from protecting employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Only a minority believed that such exemptions should be granted, and even among them, the majority believed that the exemption should only be applicable to churches and places of worship.

CFPB Considers Initiatives to Eliminate Workplace Biases

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

After concerns over discriminatory practices at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency has announced that it will soon implement strategies that are aimed at reducing biases in the workplace.

There have been a number of recent concerns about workplace discrimination at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is the premier consumer financial regulatory agency. A number of reports recently revealed that there were disparities in employees’ performance ratings that seemed to be based on racial distinctions. There have also been a number of other complaints of unfair treatment at the agency that made their way into the media.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created as part of the provisions of the Dodd Frank Act. At the time, the agency worked quickly to hire employees, and diversification of the workforce was not prioritized. Now, the agency says that it wants to attract a diverse pool of job applicants, and focus on creating an inclusive workplace culture.

Recently, a report that was filed by the American Banker newspaper analyzed internal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data, showing clearly that the agency’s white employees were approximately twice as likely to be given a top performance rating, compared to African-American or Hispanic employees. At least one attorney who worked for the agency has told a Congressional committee that she was the victim of gender discrimination at the agency. When she filed a formal complaint, she alleges that she was retaliated against.

Agency officials clearly admit that there is room for greater inclusionary practices at the agency. That is definitely a step in the right direction. The agency now has a solid opportunity in which to rectify past mistakes, and promote a more inclusive culture that bans discrimination against women and minorities.