I'm a single straight male and have been for the five years I worked for my company I also own two small teacup dogs! My boss has made comments of thinking I'm gay and poking fun of the fact I live alone and own two small dogs! Is this a form of harassment or discrimination since I feel it had something to do with me losing my job or do I actually have to be gay to do something about it?
Employment / Labor Attorney
It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual because the individual's behavior does not conform with a gender stereotype. In other words, if your employer thought it was unmanly for you to live alone and to have two small teacup dogs, and if your employer took some adverse action as a result, then your employer has committed unlawful gender discrimination under Title VII. I'd encourage you to consult in person with an employment lawyer in your area. Good luck.
My answers to questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information only, and are not intended to be legal advice. Employment law issues typically require a careful case-by-case analysis. Consequently, if you feel that you need legal advice, I would encourage you to consult in person with an employment attorney in your area.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Both state and federal law protect employees from discrimination or harassment based upon sexual orientation or "perceived" sexual orientation.
As my colleague notes, you will need an adverse employment action (i.e. Termination, Demotion) or more continuous severe or pervasive conduct before the conduct rises to a level that you may pursue legally.
Consider a complaint to HR if it bothers you enough to risk potential retaliation from your supervisor.
Please check the law of your state
There are quite a few details that must be discussed with an attorney before your question can be answered. Normally EEOC complaints apply to companies with 15 or more employees. I suggest that you contact (check out Avvo) an employment law attorney in your locale who can meet with you in private and discuss all of the facts and then can give you sound legal advice. Good luck!
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. I hope my information is helpful to you. If you think this post was a good answer, please click the "Good Answer" button below and/or designate my answer as the "BEST ANSWER". Thanks. This is a general response to a question for basic information and is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be given when all of the facts of your situation are discussed with a lawyer, which we have not done.. If you reside outside the State of Texas please understand that the laws may be different from the laws that I may cite in a my comment. This comment is not to be construed as legal advice to your particular situation because there are many factors that influence legal counseling- this is simply a comment. Response to an email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C., nor any of its attorneys. If you send us an e-mail, or call us, and we do not already represent you, neither your e-mail inquiry nor telephone call will create an attorney-client relationship. E-mails cannot necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Only entering into a written legal services contract with the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C. will create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for one-on-one legal advice and you are urged to meet with an attorney and discuss your case, personally, with an attorney in the state in which you reside or your case occurred. Thank you. Kevin R. Madison. Visit our website at www.kevinmadison.com and www.texassexualharassmentattorney.com. Kevin Madison, Austin, Texas- representing injured persons in motor vehicle collision, truck and motorcucle accidents and representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical assaults, and representing victims of sexual exploitation committed by doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, counselors, priests, and rabbis. Visit our sexual harassment/sexual exploitation blog at http://texassexualharassmentattorney.com/blog/