hmm... Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Measures are emerging to protect gay and lesbian workers from discrimination in the workplace. Although women, minorities, people older than 40 and people with disabilities now enjoy an umbrella of state and federal protections from discrimination in the workplace, gays and lesbians have, for the most part, been left out in the rain, at least at the national level. There is no federal law that specifically outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the private sector -- although federal government workers are currently protected from such discrimination. At the state level, however, there is more cause for hope. Thirteen states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in both private and public jobs: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. The District of Columbia also prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in both the public and private sectors. In addition, eight states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in public workplaces only: Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Washington. If your state does not have a law that protects you from workplace discrimination, you may still be protected by city and county ordinances. There are at least 124 cities and counties that prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation -- from Albany, New York, to Ypsilanti, Michigan. In addition, some enlightened companies have adopted their own policies prohibiting such discrimination. To find out exactly what kind of protection your city, county and/or state gives you from sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, you can visit the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund website at www.lambdalegal.org. Lambda maintains a list of state-by-state anti-discrimination laws -- as well as other laws specifically affecting gays and lesbians. If you need additional information, you can contact the Lambda office in your region. There, an intake volunteer will either answer your question or, if you need still more help, connect you with a volunteer attorney. If you live in a place that has no specific laws protecting you, there may still be hope. Depending on the exact nature of the discrimination, you may be able to sue your employer -- or your co-workers -- on a number of legal theories that apply to everyone, including gay men and lesbians: *~*intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress *~*harassment *~*assault *~*battery *~*invasion of privacy *~*defamation *~*interference with an employment contract, and *~*wrongful termination. You can obtain more information about gay and lesbian workplace rights from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force at www.ngltf.org.