Bethlehem Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity / Expression Discrimination Lawyers

Serving the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Area

Neither state nor federal anti-discrimination law expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or prospective employees on the basis of sex. Therefore, an employer may not make decisions as to hiring and firing, promotion, discipline, transfers, wages and benefits, work assignments and other terms, conditions or privileges of an individual’s employment because of the individual’s sex.

Sex discrimination encompasses discrimination based upon an employee’s failure to conform to traditional sexual stereotypes. Thus, a gay man who exhibits traditionally feminine characteristics in speech, dress or mannerisms may be protected by federal and state anti-discrimination laws prohibiting sex-based employment discrimination. Likewise, a lesbian who exhibits traditionally masculine characteristics may be similarly protected.

Local human relations ordinances often provide greater protection for employees than state or federal anti-discrimination laws. For example, local laws may prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. In the Lehigh Valley, the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton all have ordinances which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

The Bethlehem and Easton human relations ordinances define “sexual orientation” as “actual or perceived homosexuality, heterosexuality and/or bisexuality.” “Gender identity or expression” is defined as “self-perception, or perception by others, as male or female, and shall include an individual’s appearance, behavior, or physical characteristics, that may be in accord with, or opposed to, one’s physical anatomy, chromosomal sex, or sex assigned at birth, and shall include, but is not limited to, persons who are undergoing or have completed sex reassignment.”

If you believe you have been discriminated against at work on the basis of your perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, call an employment discrimination attorney at Littner, Deschler & Littner immediately to discuss your case. We can help you determine whether you have experienced sexual stereotype discrimination and, consequently, determine whether your claim is cognizable under state or federal law. If it is not, we can help you determine whether your employer violated a local human relations ordinance. Further, we can assist you in understanding your options and the strength of your case. Employees and prospective employees should be advised that there are typically strict and relatively short deadlines for filing a discrimination claim with the appropriate local human relations commission. Do not lose your right to bring a claim and get the relief you deserve. Schedule a consultation with Littner, Deschler & Littner today.