Sexual orientation discrimination is a form of discrimination that happens to people who belong to the sexual minorities. These minorities are generally bunched under the popular abbreviated term, LGBT or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Although this is a broadly bracketed term, there could be different meanings for individuals within this categorization, as some could be more than one of these at the same time.
Although there are a slew of laws that protect an employee against discrimination based on religion, gender, race, color and many other markers, there is no specific federal law that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination at the workplace. In other words, when a person who belongs to the sexual minorities is discriminated against, such a person cannot go to a court of law for taking legal recourse under a common federal law.
There may be no federal law against sexual orientation discrimination in the US, but there are State and local laws that protect them from sexual orientation discrimination. These apply to people in both the private and the public sectors.
Nearly half of all American States plus the District of Colombia have laws that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. The following States have enacted laws that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination:
However, it has to be noted that not all laws pertaining to prohibition of sexual orientation discrimination are uniform across all States. In many States, there are laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination only in public workplaces and not in the private sector. Another fact to be noted is that these are in addition to or in conjunction with many local laws, which too prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. These vary from one city to another and one local body to another.