Sexual Orientation Discrimination at Work
LOS ANGELES EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEYS FOR SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION CASES
No employer can discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on his or her sexual orientation. California employment discrimination law offers equal protection to heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual employees from acts of harassment and discrimination at work. Sexual orientation discrimination law also protects transgender and transsexual workers. Our sexual orientation discrimination attorneys provide the following information about equal rights for LGBT employees in California. However, if you need legal help, you can call us now at (310) 273-3180.
Can I File Sexual Harassment Charges and Keep My Job?
California Sexual Orientation Discrimination Law
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects gays, lesbians and transgender workers from workplace discrimination and harassment due to their sexual orientation. Specifically, the FEHA also protects individuals from discrimination due to their sex or gender, gender identity or gender expression. A company only needs to employ five workers for an employee to be eligible to bring a discrimination lawsuit. Additionally, the company only needs to employ one worker for employees to be eligible to bring harassment charges based on sexual orientation under the FEHA.
Federal Sexual Orientation Discrimination Law
In early 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed its first two lawsuits against private employers on behalf of workers facing sexual orientation discrimination. Like other forms of discrimination, the EEOC argued sexual orientation is protected by provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
According to the EEOC, sexual orientation discrimination constitutes sex discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act specifically mentions this.
The EEOC considers the following to be examples of sexual orientation discrimination:
- Denying employees promotions for being gay or straight.
- Harassing employees due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Making salary and job placement decisions based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of employees.
Employees facing sexual orientation discrimination can now file complaints with the EEOC. This may then result in investigations, voluntary resolutions or lawsuits. If federal courts rule in favor of the EEOC, then it would provide clear protections for LGBT workers in the future.
Should I File a Complaint about Sexual Orientation Discrimination?
If your employer or coworkers subject you to sexual orientation discrimination, then first address the problem internally at your workplace. This may be with a supervisor or the human resources department. If, on the other hand, you fear retaliation, first speak with an employment attorney. He or she can inform you of your workplace rights and the best course of action to proceed.
It is important to fully document all instances of sexual orientation harassment or discrimination. These notes should detail the dates, times and places of the harassment or discrimination. They should also include who was involved. It is important to save emails, written correspondences and data that support your discrimination claim.
To enforce the protections of FEHA, a person must file an administrative claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. This agency will then open an investigation into a possible discrimination or harassment case. Employees only have one year from the date of the sexual orientation discrimination to file a claim. After the agency investigates the case and determines violations have occurred, you may choose to bring your case before an administrative hearing for damages. Alternatively, you can move the case to civil court before a judge or jury.
What Sexual Orientation Discrimination Compensation May I Recover?
There are a number of damages and remedies that you can recover if you faced sexual orientation discrimination, including but not limited to:
- Back pay
- Reinstatement, hiring and promotion
- Attorney fees and costs of a lawsuit
- Policy changes and training
- Non-economic damages, including emotional distress
- Punitive damages to punish the employer for unlawful actions
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing can also impose administrative fines against employers who violate discrimination laws.
Contact Our Los Angeles Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyers
Whomever you choose to love should not impact your career opportunities or cause a hostile work environment. Our employment attorneys have experience representing victims in filing complaints under FEHA for sexual orientation discrimination. We have also successfully represented groups of workers in employment class action lawsuits.
Contact our Los Angeles discrimination lawyers today to schedule an attorney consultation. We will answer all of your questions about federal and California employment laws. We can also give employees free legal advice of their workplace rights and information about unlawful workplace retaliation or wrongful termination.