What employment rights do gay and lesbian employees have? Can you be fired for being gay? Presently there are no federal laws that provide protections for employees on the basis of their sexual orientation. Since 1993 various form and versions of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has been pending in congress. The ENDA would ban employment discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation. The bill provides protection from discriminatory hiring, firing, promotion or compensation practices, as well as retaliation for reporting such practices. However, this legislation has not cleared the hurdles of congress and became law.
Presently there are 22 states and the District of Columbia that have enacted laws that ban employment discrimination based solely on a person’s sexual orientation. Although, each state’s laws are different each one provides some basic protection from being fired or terminated for being gay. The states that have such laws are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Some employers have enacted their own policies against sexual orientation discrimination. Some of these policies voluntary and some was enacted through negotiations with unions. If you live in a state that does not have laws providing protection but if the employer have a policy against sexual orientation discrimination and the policy is violate then the victim may have some legal recourse.
If you have been terminated for being gay. Keep in mind every state is different and every circumstance is different, so you should consult with an attorney about your situation.
READ: Can You Be Fired for No Reason?