It is expected that employees will be treated properly in the work environment, but it is also implied that their civil rights will be upheld. Although this is commonly thought to be true and ideal, this is not always how workplaces function. Employment discrimination does occur, and when it happens it not only affects the individual, but it could also touch and concern the whole workplace. This is especially true if a hostile work environment results or retaliation by the employer occurs.
Sex discrimination is a growing concern in various work environments. After recent reports about certain players in the NFL, it is obvious that changes need to be made with regards to discrimination against homosexual players. Comments and actions by some players, coaches, assistants, representatives and scouts for the NFL could suggest that equal treatment does not exist for gay players.
After the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam made an official statement regarding his sexual orientation, it has been speculated that they way he is treated as a player will be affected. This could also affect where he stands when it comes to the draft. He could ultimately be dropped down a peg or two. Even if he is generally supported in that he took a stand and came out, it is human nature to not want to break the barrier, and thus discrimination results.
This is also evidenced by former Vikings player Chris Kluwe making comments about supporting marriage equality. He believes his actions and statements led to his firing, which resulted in his unlawful termination claim. Such actions almost indicate that the NFL condones discrimination against others. This also proves that steps should be taken to address these situations so they are properly carried out.
Just like race cannot be a basis for employment discrimination, sexual orientation should not either. An employee who believes they are in a situation of discrimination in the workplace should know that they have options. This could mean pursuing a cause of action, which could ultimately lead to a monetary award for the damages they suffered.
Source: Noozhawk, “The NFL Proves Why America Needs to Update Its Civil Rights Laws,” David Sirota, Feb. 20, 2014