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Monday, May 2, 2022

NJ LGBTQ Attorney, Lesbian, Gay, Non-Binary, Non-Cisgender, LGBTQ Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace Must Stop Now

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced and successful in representing LGBTQ executives and in obtaining monetary compensation for their being subjected to harassment and discrimination. With the recent cultural bent and media propagation toward classical, archetypal anti-LGBTQ hate mongering, and anti-LGBTQ misinformation campaigns spread through certain news networks and social media, some LGBTQ persons are concerned it may lead to an increase in the harassment of LGBTQ persons in the workplace. In New Jersey, the Law Against Discrimination N.J.S.A. § 10:5-12 (LAD) protects NJ employees who are homosexual from harassment. The LAD added definitions and amendments that specifically bars discrimination based affectional orientation, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression. Transgender, non-cisgender and non-binary persons are therefore protected under the LAD.

Legal Standards

Whether you are a top-tier executive or other employee, I am passionate about enforcing LGBTQ rights. The legal standard that New Jersey courts apply as to “reasonable person” in hostile work environment cases has an objective component and a subjective component. This standard of the “reasonable” person considers the perspective of one who possesses the same fundamental characteristics of a member who is in the same legally protected class as the plaintiff.

In cases discussing harassment in the workplace that involve gender, sexual orientation, affectional orientation, sex, and gender identity or expression, the legal standard applied in such cases employ a comparator standard from the viewpoint of a person who is a member of the same protected class as the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit. A male or female plaintiff who is alleging harassment based on sexual orientation, would be viewed through the lens of one in the same class, i.e., a male or female plaintiff of the same sexual orientation as the plaintiff.

Another example: if a male worker who is effeminate and gender fluid files a lawsuit under the LAD for illegal harassment because of his gender orientation, the court in applying the tests to see if the discrimination claim is valid, views the facts from the perspective of a male employee  who is effeminate and gender fluid.

Historically in  the majority of cases, the employment harassment discrimination plaintiff was a heterosexual woman being harassed by a man. If a male is alleging harassment for being a male, the only difference in the standard would be that a male plaintiff would have to allege conduct that a reasonable man would believe altered the conditions of his employment and created a working environment that was hostile to men.

Federal courts have used various forms of the objective reasonable person standard for lesbians and gays. Various courts have enunciated the “reasonable” person standard in harassment and hostile work environment cases going back to the 1990's, predominantly in the 9th Circuit to analyze Federal sexual harassment cases that were filed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. For example, in Muzzy v. Cahillane Motors, Inc., 434 mass. 409, 749 N.E 2nd 691, ( Mass. S. Jud. Ct. 2001), The plaintiff employee, a lesbian, sued her former employer, alleging that her boss, also a lesbian, sexually harassed her. The jury was instructed to evaluate the claim from the view of an objectively reasonable woman of lesbian orientation. The employee agreed to the instruction at the charge conference and failed to object to it at two later points. The court held that the jury instruction which told jurors to consider the case from the viewpoint of an employee who was an objectively reasonable woman of lesbian orientation. 

Don’t Sit on Your Rights

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced and successful in representing LGBTQ executives other employees 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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