Sexual Orientation/LGBT Discrimination
It is illegal under state law to discriminate against an employee based on his or her sexual orientation. Chapter 151B, the state’s fair employment practices act, includes sexual orientation under its definition of protected statuses. It is therefore illegal to make any adverse employment decisions, such as discipline, removal, involuntary transfer, or reduction in pay, based on sexual orientation. However, federal discrimination law does not yet cover sexual orientation.
While state law and federal antidiscrimination statutes do not expressly cover transgendered persons, such persons may nonetheless receive protection under related laws. This is because discriminating against a transgendered person can be considered gender discrimination in some instances. For example, a federal court in 2008 ruled that the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. committed unlawful gender discrimination when it terminated a biological male employee after she transitioned to female.
The Law Office of Joseph L. Sulman offers expert legal representation in the area of sexual orientation and LGBT discrimination in the workplace. Please also visit the Boston Employment Discrimination Blog for updates about the latest developments in employment discrimination law.