Sexual Orientation Discrimination (LGBTQIA+)

Sexual Orientation Discrimination (LGBTQIA+)

Employees who identify as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, queer, intersex, agender, asexual, and ally community unfortunately have had a history of experiencing discrimination and harassment, especially in the workplace. Although American society as a whole has taken progressive steps recognizing the legal rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, discrimination and harassment is still prevalent in the workplace. 

Sexual orientation discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently based on his or her sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, queer, intersex, agender, and/or asexual. Some examples of conduct that could constitute sexual orientation discrimination include being denied a promotion because of perceived or actual sexual orientation, not being hired or being fired because of sexual orientation, harassment from co-workers because of sexual orientation, being treated differently after co-workers find out about your sexual orientation, being segregated away from customers because of sexual orientation, and being asked not to bring your same-sex partner to a company event. In all of these instances, you were treated differently because of your sexual orientation, and you can make a claim under California law.

It is important to note that the harassment does not have to be done by an employer or by a supervisor. If a co-worker, client or customer engages in the harassment, that can also constitute sexual orientation discrimination discrimination and harassment, especially if the employer was aware of the offensive conduct. Employees also cannot be discriminated against based on whom they are married to or are associated with. Employees are also protected from discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation, even if that assumption is incorrect. For example, harassing or discriminating against an employee because they are perceived to be an homosexual, is sexual orientation harassment and discrimination, regardless of whether that employee identifies as a homosexual or not.  

Some examples of sexual orientation discrimination and sexual orientation harassment may include:

  • Teasing the employee about their sexual orientation
  • Making insensitive stereotypes based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation
  • Discriminating against or harassing an employee based on clothing that is typically associated with a certain sexual orientation
  • Laying off certain employees before other employees simply due to their sexual orientation
  • Denying the employee opportunities because of their sexual orientation
  • Overly monitoring and scrutinizing the employee
  • Unfairly disciplining the employee
  • Denying the employee benefits
  • Refusing to rehire the employee if they were fired

In California, the principal statute governing employment discrimination is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) (Govt C §§12900–12996). This statute protects the right of all persons to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientationage (at least 40), military and veteran status, or pregnancy. (Govt C §§12940(a), 12941, 12945(a)). This statute does not only protect paid employees but also extends to individuals who are unpaid interns and volunteers. (Govt C §12940(j)).

If you believe you have been treated differently because of your sexual orientation discrimination, give us a call at 855-IM-FIRED for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have substantial experience with these types of cases representing individuals who have been discriminated against in the past or who are currently experiencing discrimination because of their sexual orientation discrimination.

There are no up-front costs and you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless we get a recovery in the case.

Contact our Los Angeles California employment attorneys and lawyers now for all of your employee rights’ needs! 

  • Age Discrimination
  • Sex/Gender Discrimination
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Military Status Discrimination
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Battery
  • Hostile Work Environment
  • Whistleblower Violations
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination (LGBTQIA+)
  • Race/National Origin Discrimination
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Family Medical Leave Act/California Family Rights Act Violations
  • Failure to Pay Minimum Wages
  • Unsafe Workplace
  • Unpaid Wages
  • Unpaid Overtime
  • Meal Period And Rest Break Violations
  • Misclassification as an Independent Contractor
  • Retaliation
  • Wrongful Termination

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