Law Office of Lori D. Ecker

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Discrimination based on sexual orientation occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee based on the employee’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.

In May 1998, the Office of Personnel Management issued Executive Order 13087 which prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation within Executive Branch civilian employment of the federal government. The order effectively added sexual orientation to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, and age as a category under which discrimination is prohibited. Specifically, the order provides that a person's sexual orientation “should not be the basis for the denial of a job or a promotion.”

In addition, the law requires that any health insurance provided by an employer must cover expenses for pregnancy related conditions on the same basis as costs for other medical conditions and pregnancy related expenses should be reimbursed exactly as those incurred for other medical conditions.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that claims by lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals alleging sex-stereotyping state a viable claim under Title VII.

Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, it is expressly unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an applicant or employee because of that person’s sexual orientation, which is defined by the Act as “actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender-related identity, whether or not traditionally associated with the person's designated sex at birth.”

Contact Lori Ecker for superior representation and counsel in all sexual orientation discrimination matters.