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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

NJ Gay Corporate Executives, Statistics Demonstrate Corporate Anti-Discrimination Policies Not Effective as to Top Tier Executives

Top tier gay executives still report discrimination even with established corporate anti-discrimination policies and procedures. For the past decade, the press has reported the filing of lawsuits by top tier corporate executives who alleged they were discriminated against because they were gay or that their corporate employer retaliated against them after they complained about discrimination. One such most recent case was filed this month in the Supreme Court in the State of New York by the former employee, the plaintiff, against Goldman Sachs. [Note: The following allegations are allegations as written in a filed NY complaint but are not proven facts. They are provided as an example only of common types of discriminatory treatment that top tier gay executives may experience.] According to the complaint filed by the plaintiff, he alleges that he was a Vice-President at Goldman Sachs, an 18-year employee, and one of the most senior LGBTQ leaders. He alleged he was subjected to homophobic treatment, was told that he sounded, “too gay” and was told, “What’s wrong with you, do you act this way because you are gay?” He alleges that in spite of his exemplary employment record and accomplishments, he was fired in retaliation for his complaining about the discrimination. In his complaint, he named two high level executives as aiders and abettors to the discrimination against him.

Being openly gay in the workplace for years is no guarantee, that even after long-term employment, that one will not experience discrimination and harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity at some point. As he alleges in his complaint, the Goldman Sachs employee ironically was a highly visible and open proponent of LGBTQ rights. He was invited to join a group at Goldman Sachs whose goal was to organize LGBTQ leadership. His employer had an LGBT Network and he became co-head of its division that dealt with inclusion and interaction with non-LGBTQ employees. He was also co-head of the Consumer and Investment Management Division’s LGBT Network. In spite of his visible and successful LGBTQ leadership, he alleges he was fired after reporting numerous incidents of discrimination and homophobia, such as being shut out of conference calls because he sounded “too gay”.

This firm has experience in representing and obtaining monetary compensation for high level executives who were discriminated against, harassed, and/or fired after management learned that the executive was a LGBTQ person.

In New Jersey, under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, being discriminated against because there is a “perception” that employee is LGBTQ, even when the employee is not, is just as illegal and just as actionable as when the person is LGBTQ. A successful plaintiff need not prove they are a member of a protected class because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

About Half of LGBTQ Employees Keep Their Status Hid for Fear of Bias or Retaliation

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released the results of a survey in June 2018, that in the United States, about half of LGBTQ employees, keep their status hid for fear of bias or retaliation. These statistics demonstrate that corporate anti-discrimination policies are not as effective as hoped or expected. Their report on the results of this survey states that these statistics have remained basically the same for the past decade in spite of official corporate policies for LGBTQ rights in the workplace becoming common. This survey applied to all levels of employees and the foundation found that even the top tier employers in the private sector with excellent policies in place were still falling short in eliminating bias against LGBTQ employees.

What You Can Do

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is successful in representing LGBTQ executives and in obtaining monetary compensation for their being subjected to discrimination. I have successfully represented LGBTQ employees who were either terminated or forced out of their employment because of the bias against them and was successful in recovering money for them. I have also been successful in obtaining monetary compensation for persons who experienced harassment because they were perceived to be gay but who were not gay.

If you are being subjected to such unlawful workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

New Jersey employment attorney, Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout the state, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in Southern, Central, Western and Northern NJ to meet with clients.



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