Is this harassment or discrimination?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2012

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Is this harassment or discrimination?

I was recently suspended from work based on the fact that I am a lesbian. They are uncomfortable because I call everyone baby. They say that if I rub their shoulders and say it will be OK they are uncomfortable. They say I stand too close when receiving instruction on what I am to do. I have only been on the job for a week. They say if my life choices were different, it would be OK. Is this harassment or discrimination?

Asked on July 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


Jonathan Pollard / Pollard LLC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In short, this is most likely not actionable under federal law.  Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on sexuality.  Beyond that, what you describe does not seem like any type of blatant discrimination--- it would take much more than what you describe above to have a viable discrimination case, of any sort.  Still, if you feel that you have been discriminated based on your sexuality, it is possible that there is some state or local law that would prohibit this.  Speak with an 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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