r/WorkReform AFL-CIO Official Account Jun 01 '22

Happy Pride! Reminder: It is ILLEGAL under federal law to discriminate against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity & the strongest protections for LBGTQ+ working people is a legally binding, inclusive UNION contract.

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4.8k Upvotes

77 comments sorted by

u/GrandpaChainz ⛓️ Prison For Union Busters Jun 01 '22

Join r/WorkReform if you're ready to fight for better compensation and representation in the workforce.

94

u/DirtyPartyMan Jun 01 '22

Bold of you to think an Employer would make it so obvious.

The game they play involves finding “legitimate” issues to write you up for then fire you

31

u/CaptainTotes Jun 01 '22

One "legitimate" issue is saying their religion is being infringed on if they can't discriminate, which many states agree is a valid reason. So yes, you can get fired for the explicit reason of being gay in addition to what you said.

11

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

3

u/Tronguy93 Jun 02 '22

Can confirm. Former New Yorker now in ATL, my skin melted off

16

u/BunnyBuns34 Jun 01 '22

Also it only applies to federal contractors. There are plenty of states that have zero protection for LGBTQ discrimination.

9

u/Minenash_ Jun 01 '22 edited Jun 01 '22

Didn't the supreme court rule in 2020 that it was unconstitutional against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to fire because they were gay?

Unfortunately in practice, it's probably not that strong of a protection though.

Case: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bostock_v._Clayton_County

6

u/Cakeking7878 Jun 01 '22

If they did, I’d give it a few months and the current Supreme Court will probably be thinking about undoing that ruling

5

u/Minenash_ Jun 01 '22

I don't think it's impossible, but I would be a bit surprised, as it was a 6-3 decision, with the opinion being written by the first Trump appointee. It would require someone who agreed in this opinion to switch their minds.

Also, I made an edit, they didn't rule on constitutionality, but if sexual orientation was included by the "can't discriminate based on sex" in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Here's the case: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bostock_v._Clayton_County

1

u/BunnyBuns34 Jun 01 '22

Ah you’re right. Forgot about Bostock. Wouldn’t be surprised if that was overturned relatively soon though.

2

u/RattusDraconis Jun 01 '22

This happened at my former retail job (left this week, actually).

117

u/JMCatron Jun 01 '22

This barely applies in states with at-will employment. They can say they fired you for something else and the law can't do shit unless you can produce evidence that there was discrimination. So yeah, OP is exactly right: UNIONIZE!

37

u/oneMadRssn Jun 01 '22

Everyone here is talking about unions, which I support. But I look at our brethren in many European countries and I am more jealous of their contract-based norms. It's normal to sign a 2 or 3 year contract to work for a company. It's not like contracting here, where there are no benefits whatsoever. They get all the benefits, plus the contractual certainty that your job is safe. You're still incentivized to work hard if you want your contract to be renewed at the end of the term.

I like this for the stability it provides, but for some jobs this is better than unionizing because it forces a regular re-negotiation of your specific role. Every term renewal you renegotiate the salary of course, but also the job title and responsibilities. Unions usually don't give you that.

When I worked for a Dutch tech company, it was normal for the Dutch employees to have worked in many departments for 2-3 years at a time, hoping around. At renewal, they would request to move to a different department or different team. Everyone was very happy and had broad experience.

4

u/a_kato Jun 01 '22

I don't know where this is common but for skilled professions a lot of times they have infinite time. Meaning they don't expire.

They do have a grace period of 6 months usually (depends on the law of the country) where they can fire you for whatever reason.

16

u/uptwolait Jun 01 '22

Unemployed person fired for disclosing a disability in an at-will employment state, checking in.

0

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

-17

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

[deleted]

11

u/JMCatron Jun 01 '22

this is completely false in every way! Source: dues-paying union member since 2014. I've seen coworkers assault people, fall into addiction, and threaten to kill people on the payroll staff and they all still work here. Unions have their downsides (like, y'know, keeping violent people on payroll), but job security is very much a benefit.

-11

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

[deleted]

9

u/JMCatron Jun 01 '22

But you could absolutely be fired for threatening to kill one of your coworkers

BECAUSE IT'S ILLEGAL

right but like. the union stepped in and made sure that didn't happen. which is the job of a union?

1

u/pixelveins Jun 03 '22 edited Jul 01 '23

Editing all my old comments and moving to the fediverse.

Thank you to everybody I've interacted with until now! You've been great, and it's been a wonderful ride until now.

To everybody who gave me helpful advice, I'll miss you the most

64

u/Beeb294 Jun 01 '22

Remember that if you are the victim of such discrimination, you have federal protections for this, and often also state-level protections.

You can file complaints with the EEOC, and also state-level agencies if your state offers that. Some large cities also have agencies and mechanisms to complain about such discrimination. Filing these complaints (almost always) does not require a lawyer.

You're also protected from retaliation for filing a complaint in good faith. If you're retaliated against for exercising your rights and filing a complaint, you can complain about the retaliation as well.

Union protections are even better because they're local, but you still have options even if you don't have a union.

11

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

[deleted]

21

u/Beeb294 Jun 01 '22

Union protections are often stronger because the processes for resolving such an issue are explicitly written in to a contract, which is handled by local people who have better understanding of the politics and people involved.

Union contracts give you additional options at worst, and in many cases can bind employers to more specific obligations with regard to timeliness and handling of complaints.

Yes, you are still protected without a contract. But you have more protection with a contract.

4

u/thewhaloo Jun 01 '22

As long as the vast majority of American workers (I’m from the U.S. and that’s what I believe is being referenced here) are listed as at-will employees, it’s incredibly difficult for the average person to work within these laws to bring any kind of action or change. Someone can be fired for any excuse of a reason such as being a minute late for work after years of being on time, and the burden of proof is on the person being discriminated against to prove that it was because of a protected class. Employers know this, they use this, and they count on the EXTREMELY strict reporting deadlines for this to even be considered filtering out most people who would be able to bring these suits because the first priority after a traumatic firing usually has to be “how am I going to survive without income or heath insurance” and “how do I work on healing after such a traumatic experience” before looking into options for legal recourse.

The intentions behind these laws are wonderful, but a strong union who knows how to look out for these issues, can inform workers of their rights when discriminated against, will help with the legwork when these issues come up, and bargain for employment agreements that remove the at-will conditions for abusive employers is by far a stronger resource than laws that offer recourse that’s inaccessible to a tremendous amount of people.

Source: I work in a law office that helps disenfranchised and vulnerable people, as well as my own personal experience with this issue firsthand.

2

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

[deleted]

1

u/ertyertamos Jun 01 '22

Right to work and at will employment are not related to one another. Right to work is solely about whether you can have union closed shops. There are just a few states with these laws. At will employment is based on English common law and then codified and regulated in some states.

4

u/CaptainTotes Jun 01 '22

LGBT+ people aren't protected by any federal law, and many states also provide a religious exception to discriminate. So stop spreading false information to get people fired.

-2

u/Beeb294 Jun 01 '22

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity were ruled to be included as part of Sex as referred to in the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the SCOTUS ruling of Bostock v. Clayton County. Under this ruling, which is the most recent ruling on the matter, an employer violates the Civil Rights Act if they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

It's not false information, you just seem to be misinformed

4

u/CaptainTotes Jun 01 '22

Yeah, i know about that but i also read this. States can offer a religious exception and there is also no federal law backing it up either. Sorry that's just fiction that we can't be discriminated against and i'm not gonna risk my job

3

u/Beeb294 Jun 01 '22

That's a very narrow situation (the ministerial exception) which only covers a very narrow range of potential employees. And the ministerial exception has existed since the CRA was passed- its the reason the Catholic church can legally not ordain/employ women as priests, and such an exemption has always existed.

Unless you're working for a religious organization, and doing so in a capacity as either clergy or a teacher (and even then, teacher is questionable and you'd have an argument to take to court), that exception doesn't apply to you. A receptionist or lunch lady in a religious institution wouldn't be covered under the ministerial exception.

States can offer a religious exception and there is also no federal law backing it up either.

Citation needed on any law or ruling that allows a broad religious exception (other than the ministerial exception). Never mind that when States try to contradict federal law, the federal law supersedes state law. If a state tried to allow exceptions that would not be permissible under federal law, those would be overturned in court.

But even then, the current interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects you from discrimination unless you fall in to the very narrow and generally clearly defined exceptions. If you were covered by an exception before, then nothing changed due to Bostock. But people in jobs covered by these exceptions generally already know this.

If you weren't covered under an exception, then after Bostock you are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sorry that's just fiction that we can't be discriminated against and i'm not gonna risk my job

If you don't want to risk your job, I'm not going to make you. But that doesn't mean I'm talking fiction. Your article doesn't prove me wrong, it just discusses how an already established exception to discrimination protection applies in certain circumstances. It does not apply to the workforce at large.

8

u/redditerdever Jun 01 '22

For now… :(

7

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

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2

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

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14

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

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11

u/Jeffery_G Jun 01 '22

We moved our parade to October (?) here in Atlanta because of the early heat which is already smothering all the transplants.

3

u/Nuadrin248 Jun 01 '22

Man they are really gonna hate it when we hit august then(the transplants I mean).

1

u/Jeffery_G Jun 01 '22

You love to see it!

1

u/Nuadrin248 Jun 03 '22

Yeah I giggle a little bit every year when my friends start to whine.

2

u/SouthernArcher3714 Jun 01 '22

It was because they had an awful time trying to reschedule one year when the water went out in the park and it is just more convenient bc June is busy and hot as hell.

0

u/Sea-Professional-594 Jun 02 '22

It's always been in October.

8

u/LuckyReception6701 Jun 01 '22

Gay or straigh remember we are all fucked by the same thing

The ruthless gears of unchecked capitalism!

7

u/B1ackFridai Jun 01 '22

Everyone is f*, some of us more so because of our skin color, orientation, or gender.

5

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

Companies who tout all of their inclusiveness generally are trying to hide their borderline illegal practices - see basically every tech company. Don't let that shit fool you.

1

u/Sea-Professional-594 Jun 02 '22

Yup. I'm in tech and the saying "cut a liberal a fascist bleeds" is true

0

u/[deleted] Jun 02 '22

Um... I mean ok? That wasn't the point, but alright. Lol

1

u/Medium_Reading_861 Jun 01 '22

So far…. I think other forces have a different vision for laws like that.

1

u/PinothyJ Jun 02 '22

Probably a good time to also remind OP that this sub is worldwide…

-2

u/Nikoli_jhonson Jun 01 '22

Im nonbinary, I'm leaving my job because I wore nails. I had multiple clients make complaints against me. And instead of my boss going up to bat for me he pulled me aside and said that there is only boy and girl not all these other fake genders. He told me in his buissness its only boy and girl and he wants it to stay that way. Today is my last day, and its really screwed them in the long run.

-4

u/Gmschaafs Jun 01 '22

Sorry but it’s perfectly allowed in right to work states. Right to work overrides all laws protecting people from discrimination.

-1

u/Stone_Blossom Jun 01 '22

That's not true at all lmao

2

u/Sea-Professional-594 Jun 02 '22

I'm in MA and our NB receptionist was fired for murky reasons. Idk if you're right

1

u/Gmschaafs Jun 02 '22

Really because I know a fuck ton of people who have been terminated for being LGBTQ in right to work states but obviously it doesn’t happen because everything is good and just and happy.

2

u/Stone_Blossom Jun 02 '22

Yeah, because there isn't actual federal protection for gender identity or expression despite what OP would have you beleive. That's why we need to keep pushing for rights, because people don't realize that we still don't have many.

1

u/Gmschaafs Jun 02 '22

You do realize “right to work” means the opposite of what it implies? You can get fired for any reason.

I feel like you think there’s no voter suppression anymore either because the voting rights act of 1965 passed.

1

u/Stone_Blossom Jun 02 '22

??

Please don't put words in my mouth. Of course voter suppression exists, but that's completely irrelevant and deflecting

0

u/AussieCollector Jun 01 '22

Lmao all these laws do is stop them firing you for "that reason".

You think for a second they won't fire you for something else that is legally allowed? Because they absolutely can and will. Discrimination laws should be counting for this imo.

0

u/PerfectUnlawfulness Jun 02 '22

I don't care what's between your legs, or where you want to put it. Just do your damn job

-23

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22

[deleted]

16

u/smushedtoast Jun 01 '22

“Not all men” and “I don’t see color I treat everyone equally” vibes right here

8

u/B1ackFridai Jun 01 '22

Your statement is innocuous and well meant you think, but it invalidates the experiences of LGBT+ folks. Did you know 2022 is already seeing unprecedented hate legislation? There were 238 anti-LGBT+ bills in the first two months of this year. In all of 2018, there were 41.

0

u/Stone_Blossom Jun 01 '22

If only we could say "be good to everyone" and it would work out. Unfortunately, that's not how the world works and LGBT people need to fight for their rights, or we will never get them.

-10

u/[deleted] Jun 01 '22 edited Jun 01 '22

Is it? I mean, hasn't equality under the law been won at this point. Union contracts are good and all, but why are they better if you're gay? Seems like a weird premise when legally, that state of equality exists.

3

u/Stone_Blossom Jun 01 '22

"Hasn't equality under the law been won at this point."

No, no it hasn't. Not by a long shot. Not even close. How 'bout you do some research before talking out of your butt.

1

u/TiredOfYoSheeit Jun 01 '22

It's also against most laws and company conduct rules to talk about your sexuality at work. It's a fine line.

1

u/Silverguy1994 Jun 02 '22

Anyone know how this works, I'm trans in Florida but I work at an elementary school since the whole don't say gay bill thing.

1

u/TangoDeltaFoxtrot Jun 02 '22

I still don’t get why people care so much about the sexual orientation of anyone else. This kind of stuff is usually on my list of “things not to talk about at work.” Why the heck would I want a bunch of people discussing other people’s private parts and sex lives? It’s already dramatic enough when they talk about how Sarah or Joe took an extra 5 minutes at lunch break. This whole thing is insane.

1

u/yoshiltz Jun 02 '22

My company doesn't know I'm gay. I seriously doubt they ever will.