A Business-Minded Approach To Employment Law

Dealing with SOGI discrimination in the workplace

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Mediation, Workplace Discrimination |

Employers have the responsibility to create an inclusive working environment. When there are claims of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) discrimination in the office, employers must act on it promptly. If they fail to do so, the company could get into legal trouble and earn a bad reputation.

What does SOGI discrimination look like in the workplace?

In Florida and across the United States, it is unlawful for employers to treat employees unfairly due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. This protection covers all aspects of employment, including hiring, job assignments, promotions, pay, benefits, training and termination. SOGI discrimination can manifest in various ways, such as:

  • Harassment: Derogatory comments, slurs or assault based on an employee’s SOGI
  • Biased decision-making: Hiring, promotions or terminations influenced by an employee’s SOGI, not their qualifications or performance
  • Unequal benefits: Unequal benefits for employees in same-sex relationships or denial of benefits, like gender-affirming healthcare
  • Exclusion: Leaving out LGBTQI+ employees from work events, social activities or important projects
  • Dress code and grooming policies: Strict gender-based requirements that do not consider LGBTQI+ employees, especially transgender individuals

Recognizing these issues is the first step in fixing them and making the workplace better for everyone.

How does mediation help?

When there are claims of discrimination, mediation is a valuable alternative to litigation. It is a cost-effective, confidential and flexible process that allows both sides to discuss and try to solve their issues together with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator. This approach can help maintain a positive work environment. Mediation also allows employers to address and resolve issues quicker and more efficiently without going through costly and time-consuming court proceedings.

SOGI discrimination in the workplace is a grave issue that employers must address swiftly. Consulting with experienced legal professionals can help make sure that their company rules are fair and up to date. Remember, a well-informed employer can better manage potential discrimination issues and maintain a pleasant workplace.