How Can I Prove that I was Fired for Being Gay?

Employment Attorneys for Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In roughly half of the United States, employees can be fired for being gay. States like California, Oregon, New York and much of the Northeast coast offer employment discrimination protection for people based on their sexual orientation.

Frederick Cargian, a salesperson in New York, recently filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Breitling USA, and his supervisor, company president Thierry Prissert, for allegedly treating him differently than his colleagues based on his sexual orientation. He seeks unspecified damages. According to the lawsuit, Cargian’s boss:

  • Gave preferential treatment over both Cargian and his female coworkers
  • Engaged his straight male coworkers in conversation while ignoring Cargian and female employees
  • Invited his straight male coworkers to his home and on sales trips in Europe, shunning Cargian and female coworkers
  • Transferred Cargian’s duties to someone with no sales experience who allegedly “fulfilled the ideal man’s man that Mr. Prissert prized”
  • Fired Cargian without cause in 2013

Proving that Sexual Orientation Discrimination Occurred at Work

For a sexual orientation discrimination case to be successful, you must establish the following:

  • You must have made an effort to stop the discrimination. This means discussing the problem with a supervisor, reporting the behavior to a human resources representative and filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You must also adhere to your own company’s policy for reporting discrimination or harassment.
  • You must present a pattern of discrimination. Usually, a single isolated incident, such as an offensive remark, is not enough to demonstrate that you are working in a hostile work environment.
  • You must prove that you were discriminated against, and that your orientation was the cause of discrimination. This can be difficult since most employers will not openly admit that they are treating employees unfairly for being gay. You need evidence to prove that you faced discrimination.

What Counts as Evidence for Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

This depends on the type of discrimination taking place. Some forms of evidence might include:

  • Emails containing offensive language
  • Records of complaints filed with human resources
  • Photographs of offensive signs or pictures placed in the workspace
  • Witness statements from co-workers or customers
  • Pay stubs indicating a demotion or decrease in pay after you are “outed” at work

Attorneys Handling Workplace Discrimination in Los Angeles

To find out if you have a potential workplace discrimination lawsuit, contact an employment attorney to learn more about your options. After representing those suffering from unfair treatment at work for decades, an experienced labor lawyer can determine if you have grounds to file a case and recover lost wages.