Handling discrimination and harassment against LGBT employees/candidates

Posted September 30, 2015 by

Discrimination and harassment in the workplace should not be tolerated. LGBT employees and candidates need protection concerning comments on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Employers are responsible for establishing a policy that disciplines workplace discrimination and harassment.

To help explore these issues, College Recruiter recently hosted a College Recruiting Bootcamp on LGBT and other diversity hiring issues on Tuesday, September 29, at the Twilio headquarters in San Francisco.

College Recruiter has been publishing the opinions from a number of talent acquisition and recruiting leaders about why and how employers should diversify their workforces. Beth Zoller, Legal Editor for XpertHR, explains handling discrimination and harassment against LGBT employees and candidates.

beth p. zoller

Beth Zoller, Legal Editor at XpertHR

“If an employer discovers one of their candidates for employment is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, an employer should consider the following:

Even though it is not explicitly recognized under Title VII, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and many federal courts have stated that discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under federal law. Further, approximately half of the states and hundreds of municipalities prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

As a result, it is critical for an employer to develop, implement, and enforce a policy prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination and harassment against employees and job candidates. Further, an employer should be sure to provide comprehensive training to employees and supervisors so they are clear on what constitutes permissible and impermissible conduct. Also, so they know how to identify and report instances of unlawful discrimination and harassment. An employer should be especially alert for subtle discrimination and harassment in the form of unlawful stereotyping, name-calling, jokes, and other harassing and abusive conduct. An employer should be sure to follow up on all discrimination and harassment complaints with a thorough investigation and discipline if needed.”

Bio: Beth P. Zoller is the legal editor for the discrimination, affirmative action, harassment, retaliation, employee privacy, and employee handbooks/work rules/employee conduct content in the employee management section of XpertHR. Prior to joining XpertHR, Beth practiced law for more than 10 years representing employers with respect to employment discrimination and harassment claims, contractual disputes, restrictive covenant issues, family and medical leave, wage and hour disputes and a variety of other employment-related claims.

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