What protections does the state offer for LGBTQ workers?

| Nov 30, 2019 | employment law |

There have been many changes at the federal level and at the state level in Oregon when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Recognizing that all people deserve fair and equal treatment is a fundamental right in this country, so these laws seek to uphold this idea. While many areas are no longer up for debate, there are still laws lawmakers are continuing to work on. This includes employment laws. If you belong to the LGBTQ community and have concerns, it can help to know what the current laws say about your rights.

According to the Oregon State Bar, state laws currently provide various protections for the LGBTQ community in the workplace. The main employment law is that an employer may not discriminate against you due to your sexual orientation. However, it is important to note this applies only if you are age 18 or older. This protection includes your gender identity.

The law also states your employer must allow you access to the bathroom of your expressed gender and may not require you to use the restroom of your assigned gender. Dress code rules also need to follow the law, but employers may address them on a case-by-case basis.

There are exceptions to the law. Most notably, religious organizations may choose to not hire you due to your sexual orientation depending on the position you would hold at the organization. This includes the right to deny employment at a school or daycare.

Keep in mind that this is a rapidly changing area of law, so always check current legislation before challenging an employer based on it. This information is for education and is not legal advice.