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Are LGBT employees in Michigan protected against discrimination?

Did you know that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender employees in Michigan do not have statewide protections against discrimination? Despite the legalization of gay marriage and the continuing acceptance of the LGBT community nationwide, Michigan still has a long way to go. Sexual orientation discrimination does not fall under sex discrimination according to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. According to a report by The Detroit News, this means discrimination against LGBT employees is technically legal.

However, there are certain protections for LGBT employees in Michigan. Take a look at LGBT employment law and what advocates are doing to fight for statewide protections. 

Existing protections

Michigan does consider claims of sex stereotyping and same-sex harassment to be part of sex discrimination. People who work for federal contractors are also protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are also many local ordinances that offer full protections for the LGBT community. This means that some LGBT workers are protected in Michigan. 

Changing protections

Civil rights groups have been asking the Civil Rights Commission in Michigan to include comprehensive protections for LGBT employees. The commission is scheduled to officially address this topic this September in Lansing. There is also a Senate bill that seeks to ban discrimination against gay or transgender workers. 

This issue has divided many politicians. Ever since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided in 2012 that transgender discrimination was a type of sex discrimination, there have been numerous arguments and legalities at the state and federal levels.

Dealing with discrimination

A lot has happened in the past few years when it comes to LGBT rights. But while there are many new opportunities and some protections for LGBT employees in Michigan, the statewide protections are not sufficient. However, this should not discourage LGBT workers from reporting discrimination or talking to an attorney. Depending on local ordinances and what type of discrimination took place, many workers are still legally protected. 

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