In anticipation of a Supreme Court victory on same-sex marriage, many gay rights activists believe that the time is ripe for passing broad-based federal legislation against discrimination in the workplace. Currently, some states have protections banning discrimination against gay and transgender people, but no explicit bans exist in 28 states and at the federal level.
Some opponents argue against anti-discrimination laws, claiming that these laws may infringe on the religious liberties and free speech rights of employers and others who oppose homosexuality or same-sex marriage on moral grounds. However, advocates note that establishing a national right to same-sex marriage could create a fundamental injustice – if a worker enters into a same-sex marriage, he or she may lose their job if no anti-gay discrimination laws are in place.
As it stands, although no explicit federal laws exist banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, increasingly dedicated employment rights attorneys are using creative arguments based on sex discrimination laws and others to protect workers. Further, a 2012 ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission extended the definition of sex discrimination to encompass discrimination on the basis of gender identity. However, it is important that a law specifically addressing these forms of discrimination is passed.
For more information or if you or a loved one has suffered any form of discrimination, please contact the dedicated Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.