Can your manager fire you because he thinks you are gay?

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have certainly put up with their share of discriminatory treatment. As a result, many LGBT individuals choose to hide their identities at work. In fact, according to the Human Rights Campaign, 46% of LGBT employees in the U.S. choose to stay in the closet at their places of employment.

Regardless of whether you are gay, you may have some characteristics or mannerisms that are commonplace in the LGBT community. If your manager thinks you are gay, you may wonder if he can fire you without facing legal repercussions. Thankfully, the answer is no.

A major U.S. Supreme Court decision

In the middle of 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court finally considered whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender workers. In an opinion by Justice Gorsuch, the court decided it does. This means U.S. employers cannot terminate employment because a worker is a member of the LGBT community.

Your perceived membership in a group

If you are not gay, the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may not seem to apply to you. Fortunately, it undoubtedly does. After all, discriminating against you because you appear to be gay is no different than discriminating against you because you are gay.

Regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you should be free to be a productive member of modern society. Ultimately, if you are a victim of discrimination because you seem gay, you may have grounds to file a discrimination charge against your employer.