Can your employer ask you to “tone it down” in the workplace?

| Jul 21, 2021 | Employment law

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you deserve to live your life comfortably and without facing discrimination or harassment on the job. Unfortunately, some employers have not yet adapted to the acceptance of this community throughout the country.

There are many laws in place, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, that allow you to live your truth while being protected in the workplace. Your employer cannot retaliate against you, fire you or otherwise make employment-related decisions about you because you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community. If your employer makes comments that make you uncomfortable, then you may need to look into if they are violating the laws that protect you.

Is it discriminatory to ask you to “tone it down?”

Is your employer asking you to dress appropriately based on your workplace uniform requirements and encouraging you to dress the way you represent but within that uniform code? If so, then they may not be doing anything wrong. However, if your employer is asking you to dress as a male or female when you don’t identify as such or telling you to dress more “normally” so that you don’t look “flamboyant,” then there may be some underlying discrimination there.

If they begin to make decisions about your role at the company and you can show that they are treating you differently from others due to being part of the LGBTQ+ community, then you may have a case against your employer. Write down all comments that could indicate workplace discrimination, such as asking you to “tone it down” or “act straight,” because those comments could be useful in your case.