New York State Laws Against Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation is an indication of attraction. Most people are attracted to the opposite sex. Some people are attracted to people of the same sex. In either case, the right to express one’s sexuality and speak about it freely is enshrined into law. In the state of New York laws have long been designed to protect people from discrimination as a
on the basis of sex. Employers cannot discriminate against someone of their perception of that person’s sex. It does not matter if the employer believes you are straight or gay. It’s still against the law.

Sex Orientation Discrimination

Under federal laws, companies are forbidden from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation. In New York State, sex orientation is a protected class. This means that laws cannot be implemented against a person on the basis of how they are attracted to someone else. It is important to remember that this law apples to all companies that have at least four employees. Companies that employ at least fifteen people are covered under federal sexual orientation laws. New York state also requires companies to provide equal pay for both men and women as well as equal pay for all work no matter the person’s sexual orientation.

Examples of Sex Orientation Discrimination

Acts of discrimination against someone based on this characteristic can be subtle and not always readily apparent even when an employee is on the end of it. This applies to the workplace in every respect. A person may have lower wages than another co-worker merely because they are gay. Another person may notice they have been repeatedly passed over for a promotion for no discernable reason. In other instances, the employee may be asked to do less than ideal desirable tasks, denied access to a more favorable work schedule and asked to do things that are out of the bounds of their general job description.

An employee may also notice they are the subject of unwanted rumors at work. Other employees may create a hostile workplace for them by making inappropriate jokes when on the job. The boss may do nothing to stop the mockery. An employer may even actively participate in this process. The employee may feel afraid to do their job at work or ask the employer to protect from harassment. An employee may also be subject to threats to their physical safety when on the job because of their sexual orientation.

The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA)

Under the terms of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) of 2002, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation in New York State. This act applies to employment, as well as areas such as education, access to public housing and the ability to get credit. It also applies to people who may not be gay but are perceived that way by others. If you are facing such discrimination in any form, you have the right to file a case against an employer and other organizations.

That’s where we can help our clients. At our firm, we know the importance of having a workplace that is completely free from harassment. We also know people have the right to apply for public housing access, ask for credit cards and engage in other activities without facing discrimination. At our firm, we’ll be there from the start to help you file a claim and get any damages you are entitled to under New York state laws. We’ll be at you side during the entire process of filing a claim from start to finish.

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