Could This Case Lead to a Federal Ban on Workplace Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Can this case change workplace LGBT rights?A case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against Ivy Tech Community College may help establish federal rules preventing workplace sexual orientation discrimination. Although California is one of 22 states with workplace protections for same-sex workers, many other states do not have these laws.

The LGBT community and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have pushed the courts to view same-sex discrimination as sex discrimination. This is a similar view adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in 1989, in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. In this case, SCOTUS ruled that is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to discriminate against workers for not conforming to expected gender norms.

Advocates for a federal ban on this type of discrimination argue having a same-sex partner punishes workers for not adopting to the norms held by other members of their gender.

Do Same-Sex Workers Have Protections Under California Law?

In California, LGBT workers do have protections against discrimination. Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is illegal for employers to discriminate against gay, lesbian or transgender workers.

Most California employers cannot ask discriminatory questions during interviews. They also cannot make employment decisions based on the sexual orientation or identity of employees.

People facing workplace discrimination may have legal options they can pursue against their employers. Gathering evidence can be a crucial part of showing employers are liable for discrimination and harassment. Personal emails, journals detailing harassment or discrimination, voice mails or other correspondence can help employees hold their employers accountable.

The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob can help employees fight back against workplace discrimination.



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