How to Deal With Sexual Orientation Discrimination At Work: 6 Legal Tips

Experiencing discrimination on any basis is such a miserable feeling that may prevent people from being their best at work. Sadly, discrimination was, is, and maybe will be present in the future as long as people know nothing about tolerance, support, and minding their own business.

Many people face some form of discrimination based on their gender, skin color, political views, origin, religion, personal preferences, and even sexual orientation. As all these mentioned “discrimination criteria” are mostly personal or can’t be changed, discrimination becomes a huge problem at companies.

Dealing with it requires strength, patience, and support. It’s really bad when an employee faces discrimination, and there is no one to protect their rights. They often hire lawyers like to represent them and help deal with the discrimination – when the HR department and management don’t know how to do that.

So, if you’re facing discrimination at work, especially based on your sexual orientation, we have a few practical tips for you:

1. Understand Your Rights


Every country or region has different laws around discrimination cases. It’s on you to familiarize yourself with those laws and identify what exactly qualifies as discrimination. That way, you can look for legal protection.

Another important thing is to report to the human resources department that you don’t feel comfortable with the attacks and comments based on your sexual orientation. Surely, what you do in private doesn’t affect the quality of the delivered work, so you’ll have to note that to HR.

It’s on them to take action and ensure every employee has conditions to work and doesn’t feel attacked all the time by their coworkers.

2. Document Everything

Make sure you save screenshots of discrimination chats and emails. You can even hire an attorney who will confirm the messages aren’t fabricated. You can ask some of your coworkers to witness and support you when reporting to the human resources department.

We suggest keeping detailed records of incidents, like date, time, location, witness, and what exactly was said or done to you. Make sure you note down how that behavior made you feel and how it affected your mood and efficiency.

3. Always Report the Incident


The longer you stay quiet, the more courage the bully has to continue with their actions. So, we suggest reporting the first time you felt uncomfortable by their actions or comments based on your sexual orientation.

Report internally first and involve HR, managers, witnesses, and coworkers who may help you resolve this case.

If they don’t act accordingly, you can file a complaint with relevant government bodies or agencies in your country or region. The more people are involved, the bigger the chances are to stop the bully and never let them make you feel miserable again.

4, Seek For Support

Having someone to support you through the whole process is sUrely needed. That can be a friend, family member, coworker, or even your therapist who notes everything that happens to you. Their support can encourage you to fight, no matter the outcome.

Consider seeking professional help from a lawyer who specializes in sexual discrimination cases and work discrimination, too. They can advise on your legal rights and let you know what to do next.

Check on the civil organizations around you and SOS lines for support. You’ll be surprised by the support you’ll receive from them. They are confidential and may give you precious advice to use to your advantage in the case.

5. How to Prepare to Report Sexual Orientation Discrimination at Work

Bullies often do one thing wrong – they attack with witnesses present. This can be your huge advantage. But also, it may happen to be a drawback, especially if the other coworkers suffer from discrimination from that person or group of people.

If you want to start a case against these bullies, you’ll need to gather enough evidence, too. Any documentation that supports your claims should be in your hands – from emails, text messages, photos, or even videos.

Important Note: Taking photos and videos from someone without their authorization is a crime in some countries. Make sure that’s not the case where you are now. If you take photos or videos in secret, even if the person is doing something harmful, it may result in a privacy attack case against you.

Finally, you need to take care of yourself. Sexual discrimination can be a draining experience, so it’s normal to be sad and nervous. Also, practice relaxation and spend time with the people you love. That way, you won’t let the bully take over your life and spare time.

6. Recognize the Subtle Forms of Discrimination


People often aren’t aware that microaggression, biased language, or exclusion are subtle forms of discrimination at work. Documenting these small cases can strengthen your case against the people who discriminate against you, or even the whole company.

Remember, you can go against the company, too, especially if they don’t take appropriate actions to prevent discrimination in their office. A company that doesn’t stand for the employees and their well-being doesn’t deserve to exist. If you don’t report them, they’ll continue to make others feel miserable and support discrimination (even when passively doing that).

In the meantime, you can communicate with discrimination and LGBTQ+ organizations so they can support you with the evidence. Remember, you are not alone in facing sexual orientation discrimination. Reading this article, you already feel support in fighting against unequal treatment at work!


Human rights are guaranteed, no matter who you are, what you do in private, and how you behave at home. No one has the right to make you feel bad or incompetent based on your sexual orientation.

So, gear up with knowledge and go against these people. Show them you can stand your ground and embrace the differences – something they aren’t even capable of.

It’s good to have support through the whole process, so stay close to the people you love and who love you. They can make your life easier, providing support when the discrimination cases become emotionally draining for everyone.