LGBTQ workers in New York and across the U.S. face significant challenges despite the Supreme Court’s ruling against discrimination. On June 13, 2020, Justice Neil Gorsuch ruled that employers who fire employees for being transgender or gay violate the law. Employers within New York continue to breach this ruling through discriminatory health care benefits, small business policies and workplace uniforms.
Some employers don’t pay for LGBTQ workers’ medical care. For instance, transgender employees and same-sex couples are denied access to fertility treatments. Besides, insurance plans are shortchanged to leave out HIV coverage, particularly given the disease disproportionately affects bisexual and gay men.
New York state has failed to extend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only protects people working in larger businesses with 15 or more employees. This lack of nondiscrimination laws exposes LGBTQ members in small businesses to discrimination. There are significant gaps in employee treatment, such as the failure to introduce same-sex locker rooms and bathrooms.
The introduction of uniforms means people must either identify themselves as male or female, which overlooks transgender workers’ interests. For example, many employers expect female employees to wear feminine skirts and dress suits and their male counterparts to wear masculine suits. This means transgender workers are required to choose between male and female categories.
Other unresolved factors that depict workplace discrimination against LGBTQ employees include religious reasons, parental leave and non-recognition of LGBTQ workers. Many employers don’t know the number of LGBTQ employees they recruit, making inclusion significantly difficult.
If an LGBTQ member experiences workplace discrimination, the discriminated person may be entitled to damages, including emotional pain, sexual harassment and medical expenses. An attorney experienced in employment law for employees may successfully negotiate compensation by the employer or help the employee file a court complaint.