Employees who have been wrongfully terminated from their jobs for no reason other than that they are gay or lesbian can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In 2000, the EEOC issued a decision in which it ruled that discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This case was brought by Kimberly Hively, an Indiana woman who had worked at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend. She was fired after she complained to her boss that he made inappropriate comments about his female employees and how many women he’d slept with. The college agreed to pay Ms. Hively $250,000 in damages and reinstate her job.
What makes this case so significant is what came next: Out of five million complaints filed with the EEOC for alleged workplace harassment during 2009-2012 alone, approximately 90% involved someone being fired because s/he was gay or lesbian; however not one person ever won any monetary compensation for these losses! So if you’ve lost your job due to someone else’s homophobic behavior but do not qualify as protected under federal law—you may still be able to pursue compensation through your local state agencies responsible for protecting workers against employment discrimination regardless of what happened back when you were employed by them!