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Expanding protections for all Michigan employees

Employees are afforded certain protections by virtue of their employment. Depending on where you are employed, you as an employee have rights when it comes to your job. Now, there is a difference when speaking about those employed in the public sector versus those employed in the private sector. Public sector employees can look to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) and Title Vii when facing possible discrimination at work. Employees in the private sector fall under the umbrella of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) when dealing with workplace concerns such as discrimination, harassment, and the like.

EEOC and Title VII protections took a leap forward with respect to assisting employees with discrimination claims. Recently, the Department of Labor expanded its role to ensure that employees are treated equally and fairly no matter their gender identity or their sexual orientation. Specifically, the laws are being expanded to the gay and lesbian and transgender community to ensure that their employment rights are protected.

Although these laws were not rewritten, they are being read in such a way that the nondiscrimination clauses relating to gender come into play where appropriate. For instance transgender individuals that are transitioning now have Because employees come in various sizes, shapes and orientations, the laws need to be enforced in such a way that all employees that have to seek their protections are able to do so freely. Where there is a viable claim under either Title VII or with the EEOC, the employer has the responsibility to initiate said claim.

The LGBT community now has a seat at the table when talking about employee rights. But, an attorney may help those in the community navigate the new legal landscape.

Source: Business Insurance, "Lesbian, gay, transgender workers increasingly protected by bias policies," Matt Dunning, Feb. 1, 2015.

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