LGBT Discrimination

California’s LGBT discrimination laws offer more protection to employees than federal laws do. Broad protections are available to combat discrimination based on “sexual orientation”, which include homosexual, bisexual, transgender and even heterosexual employees. Federal employees stationed in California are protected, to a considerably lesser extent, by federal LGBT discrimination laws.

LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is quite common in California. LGBTQ employment discrimination law kicks in when an employee suffers an “adverse employment action” based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  An adverse employment action is an action that substantially and adversely affects the conditions of employment, such as:

  • Termination
  • Failure to hire
  • Withdrawing a job offer
  • Passing over an LGBT employee for promotion in favor of someone who is less qualified
  • Discrimination in pay or benefits
  • Discrimination based on perception or assumption (discrimination based on a perceived sexual orientation, even if that perception is inaccurate)
  • Being disciplined for using the “wrong” restroom
  • Being terminated for making a gender transition
  • Being excluded from business lunches, management retreats or similar activities

These protections kick in only when it is proven that the adverse employment action was actually motivated by the employee’s LGBT status. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the employee to prove, his termination was motivated by discrimination against his LGBT status (sexual orientation or gender identity). This is where you need the assistance of a skilled workplace LGBTQ discrimination lawyer.

Discuss your ability to recover financial compensation after an LGBT Discrimination Claim with our experienced business lawyers today.

LGBT Harassment

Discrimination occurs when you suffer adverse action because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Harassment, by contrast, is abusive treatment (by superiors, peers or subordinates) due to your sexual orientation or gender identity. You can win a harassment lawsuit just as you can win a discrimination lawsuit. Some examples of harassment appear below:

  • Being subjected to a superior’s efforts to “turn you straight”
  • Offensive comments
  • Unwanted touching
  • Offensive jokes
  • Name-calling
  • Constant irrelevant references to an employee’s sexual orientation of identity
  • Sexual orientation or gender identity stereotyping

LGBT Anti-Discrimination Laws

Following are some of the major state and federal laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination and harassment. Discrimination and harassment lawsuits typically cite these provisions as part of their legal argument:

  • The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prevents discrimination and harassment against LGBT people at the workplace.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers discrimination and harassment in housing and at the workplace, including graduate students at a university.
  • Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination and harassment against university students.
  • The California Department of Managed Healthcare (the “CDMH”) Regulations prevent health insurance companies from discriminating against LGBT people, and it requires insurance companies to cover gender transition-related health care expenses for those who hold transgender policies.
  • The SB 1146 religious exemption notification requirement requires schools with religious exemptions from Title IX to notify students of the religious exemption prior to enrollment.
  • The SB 703 government contracting requirement prohibits the California state government from entering into contracts worth more than $100,00 with companies that do not offer transgender health care benefits.

The Time to Act is Now

Don’t Settle For Less Than Best
If you believe you may have an LGBT harassment or discrimination complaint, you need an experienced attorney to represent you. It is best to act quickly, because evidence deteriorates over time. You need an attorney with experience in California discrimination and harassment law, because these types of cases often turn on small legal nuances.