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Sterling Employment Law

Sexual orientation discrimination at work in Michigan

In the not too distant past, if you were of a different sexual persuasion, you probably kept a tight lid on it – only revealing this to your closest confidants. This secrecy had a good reason, not only were people of different sexual orientations commonly discriminated against socially, but they might even lose their jobs or have trouble finding jobs. These days, the social climate is quite different, and those who identify as homosexuals can more comfortably be open about it. Nevertheless, state and federal laws have yet to catch up with this social trend of acceptance.

At this time, Federal law does not provide any special protections to homosexual workers. If an employer chooses to fire someone for the discriminatory reason that he or she is homosexual, the employer might not get in trouble for it. Also, even though some states have made independent laws that protect homosexual workers, the state of Michigan has no such laws on the books. In some states and counties in Michigan, however, homosexual workers might be protected from discrimination.

If you think you've been discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, you might want to investigate your legal rights and options. In some cases, you might be protected from this kind of abuse.

It's sad to think that anyone would have to keep something as innocent as their sexual orientation a secret in this day and age, but the fact remains: If you work for an employer who looks down upon homosexuals, you might not be protected from discrimination. You may want to find out what your standing is under the law before you reveal your sexual preference at work.

Source: Findlaw, "Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Worldplace," accessed June 08, 2018

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