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New PA Ordinance Protects Against Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Discrimination

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September 19, 2011 – A Newtown, Pennsylvania ordinance has been drafted to expand discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.  A Doylestown ordinance passed last year was the impetus for drafting Newtown’s version.  Because current state law does not include protection against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, the ordinance would establish a Human Relations Commission to perform mediation in such instances. If the ordinance is passed, Newtown Borough would be the 23rd municipality in Pennsylvania to pass an ordinance that protects all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace involves treating an employee differently solely based on sexual orientation – whether homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual. Whether or not your employer’s perception of your sexual orientation is accurate, if your employer believes you have a certain sexual orientation and discriminates against you because of it, then you are a victim of sexual orientation discrimination. Similarly, if your employer treats you differently based on your “gender identity”, then you are the victim of gender identity discrimination. “Gender identity” is your self-conception as being male or female, as opposed to the gender “assigned” to you at birth based on physical or genetic characteristics. While most persons’ gender identity and biological characteristics are the same, a transgender person’s gender identity does not match his or her “assigned” gender.” Transgender individuals include transsexuals, transvestites and androgynes.

Sidney L. Gold is a nationally-renowned Philadelphia employment attorney, experienced in all areas of workplace discrimination, including sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination.  He provides knowledgeable, compassionate legal representation upon which you can rely when you are victimized by your employers’ unlawful treatment. Call Sidney Gold today to discuss the facts of your potential discrimination claim and to understand your rights under the law.

Read more about Newtown’s proposed ordinance.

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