LGBT Discrimination Lawyer in Illinois
Do you suspect you have been treated differently at work because of your sexual orientation? Maybe you were passed over for a promotion because you are openly gay, or maybe you didn’t get a pay raise because you are biologically male but identify as a woman. Whatever the case, you deserve dignity, respect, and the same treatment as your heterosexual coworkers in the workplace.
If you have been the victim of discrimination based on sexual orientation in Illinois, the Mahoney Law Firm can help.
For more than 16 years, Illinois LGBT discrimination attorney Ryan Mahoney has advocated for workers whose rights have been disregarded by their employers. He helps clients face their employers head-on, often helping them achieve the best possible outcome in their LGBT discrimination claims.
Contact our law office in Madison County, Illinois, to learn more about your legal rights and discover why you want the Mahoney Law Firm standing beside you for this fight. We offer a free confidential case evaluation, so call our team today.
What is LGBT discrimination?
LGBT discrimination refers to adverse or unfair treatment at work because of an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Under state and federal law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant because they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
What are some examples of LGBT discrimination?
Like other types of employment discrimination, LGBT discrimination can involve:
- Benefits and compensation
Some examples of LGBT discrimination include:
- Refusing to hire an employee because the employer suspects the candidate is gay
- Passing over an employee for a promotion and pay raise because the employee is openly transitioning from female to male
- Creating a hostile work environment by making offensive and hurtful remarks about the LGBT community
- Firing an employee for reporting discriminatory actions to human resources
LGBT discrimination doesn’t have to be direct, open, or obvious. It can also occur when an employer has a policy that inherently puts LGBT employees at a disadvantage.
What Illinois state and federal laws protect me from LGBT employment discrimination?
Until recently, LGBT employees did not always have protection from discrimination in the workplace based on their sexual orientation. However, both federal and state laws extended LGBT discrimination protections in recent years. Ultimately, LGBT discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination under Illinois state and federal law.
Federal LGBT Discrimination Law
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits discrimination based on several protected characteristics, including sex, race, age, and national origin. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not explicitly mentioned in the law.
In recent years, however, federal courts have held that employment discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII.
In 2020, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County cemented this protection in federal law. Specifically, the court held that “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.” In other words, Title VII protections extend to LGBT employees.
Note, the implementation of these Title VII protections is currently being challenged through several lawsuits filed by Texas, Tennessee, and other states.
Federal employment discrimination law applies to the federal government and most other employers with at least 15 employees.
Illinois LGBT Discrimination Law
While federal employment discrimination laws don’t mention sexual orientation specifically, Illinois state law does. The Illinois Human Rights Act specifically provides “individuals within Illinois the freedom from discrimination against any individual because of his or her…sexual orientation.”
The Illinois Human Rights Act defines sexual orientation to include “actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender-related identity, whether or not traditionally associated with the person’s designated sex at birth.”
Illinois has some of the strongest LGBT employment discrimination protections in the nation. As of 2020, employers with one or more employees are subject to the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
What remedies are available if I win my LGBT discrimination lawsuit in Illinois?
Being discriminated against at work because of your actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity can impact every aspect of your life. Through an LGBT discrimination lawsuit brought under Illinois state and federal law, you can potentially recover compensatory and/or punitive damages for the mistreatment you have experienced. This can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Marital strain
- Back pay
- Front pay
- Lost job benefits
Note, compensatory damages for things like pain and suffering are only available for LGBT discrimination claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. To maximize the potential for recovery, filing claims under both federal and Illinois state law can help.
How long do I have to file an LGBT discrimination claim in Illinois?
You have less than one year to formally file a claim concerning LGBT discrimination at work. Specifically, you have 300 days from the date of the last discriminatory act to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
Once the statute of limitations has expired, you give up the opportunity to file a claim and hold your employer legally responsible for their unlawful discriminatory acts.
An Experienced Illinois LGBT Discrimination Lawyer Ready To Fight for You
As an employee in the state of Illinois, you have the right to be free from employment discrimination because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. If your employer has violated your rights, call the Mahoney Law Firm for immediate legal assistance.
Illinois LGBTQ discrimination lawyer Ryan Mahoney has dedicated his career of over 16 years to advocating on behalf of aggrieved workers across the state. He has the resources, experience, and passion you need to hold your employer responsible for their actions, evoke change, and get the desired results from your LGBT discrimination claim.
Contact the Mahoney Law Firm’s law office in Madison County, Illinois, to get started. We provide a free initial case evaluation, so call to schedule yours today.