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:
- 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.