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Adidas: We Won’t Fire You If You Come Out. A Campaign To End LGBT Discrimination And Why Other Companies Should Follow Suit

Adidas: We Won’t Fire You If You Come Out. A Campaign To End LGBT Discrimination And Why Other Companies Should Follow Suit

Recently Adidas, the second largest sportswear company has added a clause to their contracts with their male and female endorsing athletes that if a sponsored athlete reveals publicly that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, the contract will not be changed or terminated.

The clause reads: Adidas acknowledges and adheres to the principles of diversity, as this is a central part of the Adidas group philosophy. Therefore Adidas warrants that this agreement will neither be terminated nor modified in case the athlete comes out to the public as a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.”

In the United States, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits any discrimination at the workplace based on color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. This includes sexual orientation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that discrimination against an individual because that person is a transgender, bisexual, gay or lesbian is included under sexual orientation, and therefore prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sexual discrimination occurs when someone is treating the person differently solely because of his or her perceived sexual orientation which includes; lesbian, gay (homosexual), bisexual, asexual, pansexual, or straight (heterosexual) individuals.  Discrimination in hiring, firing, or demoting, specifically because your employer suspects or that you have admitted that you are within the sexual orientation class of people. Harassment such as comments about your mannerisms or sexual activity, sexual jokes or innuendos, and requests for sexual favors by an employer or co-worker is also prohibited, and may rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment depending on the frequency and veracity of the comments.

Currently we are observing that companies are taking steps to assure that their employees and management are aware of these prohibited practices, but nevertheless they still occur.  By companies explicitly stating in their policies that they will not tolerate this kind of behavior it is the first step to assuring that people are not discriminated against in their workplace. It furthers enables those who may be under the public eye to assure that they are protected, and by adding it on a contractual basis it legally enables more liability on the companies for failure to adhere to their contractual duties. We give Adidas “props” and hope that other companies will follow suit.

No one should be discriminated at their workplace because of their sexual orientation. Should you find yourself in a situation where you may believe you are being discriminated against, please contact an attorney for assistance in stopping the discrimination before it escalates in the workplace.  To find out more about discrimination laws please visit our website: www.lineschfirm.com  

By: Daniela Carrion