What do I need for a gender discrimination suit?

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What do I need for a gender discrimination suit?

I was recently in a verbal altercation with a co-worker. They were discussing the topic of gender roles and female sexuality. I am lesbian and of course I’m sensitive to such topics. The co-worker continued on in what he was saying and I told him it was bullshit. He escalated, made a comment towards my sexual orientation, and then tried to physically intimidate me by standing over me. I gave him several times to sit down before I stood up and took a position of defense. At the end of it all, I was found to be the aggressor though I was

defending myself. I feel like I’m being singled out because of my sexual orientation and an unfair investigation. Do I have a case?

Asked on December 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are in South Carolina and not, say New Jersey or New York or another more progressive state. Your state does not make discrimination or harassment basd on sexual orientation illegal: that is, SC allows discriminatory treatment or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation. Federal law also does not protect sexual orientation, and so federal law will not help you, either. If you were discriminated against due to your orientation, that is morally wrong but unfortunately legal in your state.


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