If You Have Been Discriminated Against

If you have been subjected to discrimination by an employer or in housing or at a public accommodation, you may be able to take legal action. If you live in a state, city or county covered by a human rights law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, our best advice is to consult with a local civil rights attorney who can assess whether you have the evidence to move forward with your case. It is one thing to know that you have been treated unjustly. It is another to be able to prove it in court — and an attorney will help you.

In some states and localities there is also the option of taking your case to a human rights commission, but that can be a long, drawn-out process. It is often the best option if you are trying to get an agency or business to stop discriminating and you don’t have much hope for recovering high damages.

Even if there is not a law explicitly protecting you, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the courts have made some rulings that are encouraging. The EEOC has ruled that discrimination against people of transgender experience is sex discrimination. And at least one federal judge has ruled that a gay man who charged his federal agency with discrimination was also illegally discriminated against based on his not fulfilling a stereotypical gender role.

For more information, go to our section on Legal Groups.

Back to LGBT Resources.