Employers who violate anti-discrimination laws are subject to fines and civil lawsuits. The best way for employers to deter discrimination lawsuits is by avoiding discrimination. Though employers are allowed to collect information about their employees’ race, gender, nationality, and age, they are prohibited from using this information to make employment decisions.
Employers can use this information to measure workplace demographics, but there is a fine line between collecting information and infringing on one’s rights. Plaintiffs in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia area should seek the help of a South Jersey discrimination lawyer if they believe their rights are being violated.
Can Employers Ask Workers to Reveal Their LGBT Status?
Banking institution, Goldman Sachs, is towing that line by announcing a new application procedure. The company is asking its employees and applicants to divulge information about their sexual orientation. The bank claims they are not the first company to ask for this information. However, the practice is still relatively new.
Legal analysts claim the practice could present some problems in the future. Goldman Sachs risks liability claims from litigants if the information is stolen or misused.
The company states it wants to request LGBT status information to encourage diversity. However, the government does not currently track such information. The implications for collecting such data could be grave. Employees risk harassment if the information is made public or gets into the wrong hands. Goldman Sachs contends it will not use the information to influence hiring practices.
Discrimination and the Government
Federal contractors are prohibited from exhibiting discriminatory behavior under the guidelines of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Currently, Goldman Sachs is not a federal contractor. If the company decides to seek government contracts in the future, the practice will be scrutinized.
Voluntary Versus Involuntary
Goldman Sachs does not require employees to divulge their sexual orientation. The process is completely voluntary. However, the EEOC does require companies to share statistics regarding race, sex, and veteran/disability status.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has provisions in place that prevents contractors from asking employees about their sexual orientation. The EEOC does not have such a rule.
Legal analysts assert the information can still be pulled by government agencies or others and used to investigate employees.
To protect itself, Goldman Sachs needs to ensure that the collected data will remain private. The data cannot be made public under any circumstance. The company could face lawsuits if the data is stolen or revealed to unauthorized personnel.
The EEOC can step in and audit the data to see if the company is using the data to discriminate against LGBT workers. At this point, collection of the data is not considered illegal because it is voluntary.
South Jersey Employment Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Assist Workers Facing Discrimination Due to Their LGBT Status
If you are an LGBT worker facing discrimination in the workplace due to your LGBT status, contact the South Jersey discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. for a free review of your case. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online.