Discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfairly or less favourably than another person in the same or similar circumstances. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, and generally takes the form of exclusion or rejection from something.
The Human Rights Act 1993 protects people in New Zealand from unfair discrimination
The law protects all people from unlawful discrimination; this includes discrimination on the grounds of: *
This means that an employer can't treat you differently (on the basis of your age or other grounds noted above) compared to other applicants or employees.
Sexual orientation discrimination includes being treated differently or harassed because of your real or perceived sexual orientation -- whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual. This type of discrimination may be illegal in your workplace, depending on where you work. Federal Law
Although federal laws protect people from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability, there is no federal law that specifically outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the private sector. (Federal government workers are protected from such discrimination.) Attempts to pass federal legislation that would outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in private workplaces have been unsuccessful to date, although more members of Congress support such a bill each year. State Laws
There is more hope at the state level. Almost half the states and the District of Columbia have laws that currently prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in both public and private jobs: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. In addition, a few states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in public workplaces only. Local Laws
If you are gay or lesbian and your state does not have a law that protects you from workplace discrimination, you may still be protected by city and county ordinances. Many cities and counties prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in at least some workplaces.
Deeply-embedded homophobic and transphobic attitudes, often combined with a lack of adequate legal protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, expose many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of all ages and in all regions of the world to egregious violations of their human rights. They are discriminated against in the labour market, in schools and in hospitals, mistreated and disowned by their own families. They are singled out for physical attack – beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured and killed. And in some 76 countries, discriminatory laws criminalize private, consensual same-sex relationships – exposing individuals to the risk of arrest, prosecution, imprisonment — even, in at least five countries, the death penalty. Concerns about these and related human rights violations have been expressed repeatedly by United Nations human rights mechanisms since the early 1990s. These mechanisms include the treaty bodies established to monitor States’ compliance with international human rights treaties, as well as the special rapporteurs and other independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to investigate and report on pressing human rights challenges.
Similar concerns have been expressed by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In December 2010, the Secretary-General delivered a landmark speech on LGBT equality in New York calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality and for other measures to tackle violence and discrimination against LGBT people. “As men and women of conscience, we reject...
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