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Sterling Employment Law

Michigan author urges caution regarding workplace discrimination

In the state of Michigan, a person may be fired simply because of his or her sexual orientation. The author of a new book on the subject of workplace discrimination is the founder of a nonprofit organization in Michigan that helps to prepare LBGT students with the transition from college into the job force. In the book, the author warns students to exercise caution in their search for employment.

The United States Supreme Court has issued a ruling stating that it is illegal for the federal government to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in matters of workplace benefits. When the discrimination occurs at the state level however, entirely different rules apply. The same employment protections available under federal law are absent in many individual states. Michigan is one of those states.

In Michigan, a person may be fired or refused employment simply because he or she is gay, and there may be little or no legal recourse available. The cities of Detroit, Ferndale, Lansing and Ann Arbor have enacted anti-discrimination laws. In addition, some corporations statewide have adopted their own policies aimed at non-discrimination. Outside the remedies found in those city's laws and those corporate policies, a person who has been the object of discrimination may have little chance of help.

The book stresses the point that it is wise for each individual job seeker to become educated about the subject. Because of the limited amount of written material, wise decisions by potential job applicants may be difficult to make.

In situations such as these, it is considered a wise move to seek out the advice of an attorney with experience in workplace discrimination. As a job seeker or a victim of potential discriminatory behavior on the part of an employer, an employment law attorney may help an LBGT employee determine whether legal protection is available for that person's situation.

Source: Detroit News, "Michigan doesn't ban gay bias at work", BRIAN J. O’CONNOR, July 01, 2013

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