Subtle Signs of LGBTQ+ Discrimination in the Workplace

Subtle Signs of LGBTQ+ Discrimination in the Workplace

In an ideal world, everyone would come to work feeling valued, respected, and safe. Even though society at large has made incredible strides in terms of acceptance, this safety still isn’t a guarantee. There are still those with harmful biases and beliefs that make the workplace uncomfortable and even unsafe for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. Worse, many prejudiced people have become better at hiding their bigotry to spread their intolerance without getting caught. To help hold these people accountable, let’s look at some of the subtle signs of LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace.

Comments and Stereotypes Disguised As Jokes

All too often, playful jokes and banter cross the line, turning into hurtful and downright hateful comments. Some people like to bond with their coworkers by teasing, but under no circumstances should this teasing hurt you or make you feel unsafe. In certain situations, a person may not know what they’re doing or saying is hurtful, but don’t get fooled; this is a rarer occurrence than you might think.

If you aren’t sure whether they’re simply ignorant or being purposefully cruel, tell them their comment hurt your feelings and see how they react. If they apologize and take ownership, then it was likely a mistake. If they try to pass it off as a joke or as you being overly sensitive, take that as a sign that they knew exactly what they were saying.

Denying Qualified Employees Advancements

Whenever one group of people seems to be making advancements over another group of people, you should always observe this pattern with a critical eye. All qualified employees should receive the same benefits, opportunities, raises, and promotions and access to the same meetings, resources, and events. If you notice that perfectly qualified LGBTQIA+ employees aren’t getting hired or offered advancements, it is very unlikely that this is a coincidence. This may not necessarily be the case in smaller companies with few employees. However, the larger the company, the more likely this is to be true.

Enforcing Particular Dress Codes

While it is perfectly normal for your employer to require a specific uniform, they should never require you to wear certain clothes based on your perceived gender. The concept of “passing” is complicated for transgender people, as they may not outwardly appear as their corresponding gender identity to other people. It is an unrealistic burden that causes a lot of strife, and employers can make this worse by enforcing specific dress codes.

For example, if a trans woman does not outwardly appear cisgender in the eyes of her employer, the employer may force her to dress in men’s clothing. Make no mistake—this is discrimination and should get treated as such. As long as your clothing fits within your employer’s uniform policy, you should never get forced to wear clothing that does not align with your gender identity.

If you’re faced with any of these subtle signs of LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workplace, contact the Law Firm of Tamara N Holder today. If you feel unsafe addressing discrimination within your workplace or want to take legal action against a prejudiced employer, you don’t have to go through it alone. We’ll put you in touch with one of your LGBTQ discrimination lawyers, who will treat your case with care and respect so you can get the legal representation you deserve.

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