LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination

I figured I’d wait 24 hours before talking about the sad state of affairs in the majority of states in the union… I didn’t want to bring this up yesterday when Love Won! While I am ecstatic beyond belief that every American is now legally allowed to get married, the fact is 31 states do not have separate protections specifically for sexual orientation + gender identity. This means that it is completely legal for an employer to terminate employment based on a persons sexual orientation or gender identity. Check out this infograpic from Vox that shows the states that have protections for LGBTQ people and those that don’t.

Currently, 19 states ban discrimination based on sexual orientation + gender identity, while only 3 additional states ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Equal rights activist, Michelangelo Signorile, is so right: Its Not Over!


Of course it is a monumental shift for all American’s to now have the right to marry – it seems the fight for true equality is far from over.  The lack of civil rights laws in the 31 states in the union that do not protect LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination need to be changed. Equal Protection under the law, right?

14th Amendment – Equal Protection: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Where does your state stand? Would love to know your thoughts on this – comment below!



Why this Supreme Court decision directly impacts equal opportunity in the U.S.

Samantha Elauf wears a head scarf for religious reasons like many Muslim women. It not surprising that Samantha wore her head scarf to apply for jobs in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma back in 2008. When Samantha filled out an application for Abercrombie & Fitch, the company said her head scarf clashed with its dress code – which calls for a “classic East Coast collegiate style” – and refused to hire her. Sounds like basic employment discrimination to me…

Luckily the Supreme Court agrees with me. On June 1st, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Samantha on the grounds that “An employer may not make an applicant’s religious practice confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions.”

Samantha said “I was born in the United States, and I thought I was the same as everyone else…  Observance of my faith should not prevent me from getting a job.”

samantha eluf

 Photo Credit: Jim Bourg/Reuters

Samantha’s victory in the Supreme Court is a message to the entire nation that workplace discrimination is not acceptable, and Americans will not sit idly by while corporations break the law. The laws are in place to protect everyone, and should be implemented as such.