Is there anything that I can do about being discriminated against as a lesbian?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2012

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Is there anything that I can do about being discriminated against as a lesbian?

I have held the same job for 5 years and now that I have a new manager I am having problems at work. My partner also works there and we have had no problems until the past month when this new General Manager took over and realized that my partner and I are lesbians. Also, recently there are rumors going around the store that I am stealing money along with some very homophobic as well as very rude homosexual comments and postings.

Asked on February 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there appears to be nothing you can do about the discrimination. Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate against employees on the basis of race, religion, sex (gender), age over 40, and disability, but does not protect sexual orientation. Some states, e.g. NJ, NY, CA, will prohibit discriminating against someone at work due to his/her sexual orientation, but NC is not one of them. Thus, it appears that it is legal to discrimination against a lesbian in your state.

However, when someone publically (i.e. to any other people) makes untrue factual statements about you that damage your reputation, that person may be committing defamation and you may have a legal cause of action against him or her (and sometimes also his or her employer). A claim that you are stealing is a negative or damaging factual statement; if it is untrue, then it may be defamation, and you may have a lawsuit. If you wish to explore this possibility, you should meet with a personal injury attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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