Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In the workplace, one form of sex discrimination is the unfavorable treatment of employees or job applicants who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ). Although the federal government does not currently list the LGBTQ community as a protected category unless you work in the public sector, it’s the laws of individual states that determine if you are protected as a gay person.

California is one of many states that deem sexual orientation discrimination to be unlawful in both the public sector as well as the private sector. Still, discrimination continues. Members of the LGBTQ community are often treated unfairly during the employment process because they are gay or perceived to be gay. The employment process pertains to both employees and job applicants. If your state does not protect LGBTQ employees against workplace discrimination, the local or county governments may have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

It is also discriminatory to harass an employee with homophobic or insulting remarks about gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgender people. These types of comments can come from colleagues, supervisors or owners.

Employees or job applicants, always have an option to file a complaint with the human resources department at their job or with governmental agencies. It is not uncommon for an employer to retaliate as a result of the complaint. By retaliating the employer is punishing the employee or job applicant from standing up to discrimination. Retaliating against the employee or job applicant is unlawful. Retaliation can be commenced in a number of different ways, including ultimately being terminated from the job. Most often in these circumstances, the employers justify themselves and give other excuses for the termination, some of which may be fabricated.

If you feel your sexual orientation has affected your ability to get hired, receive training or get a promotion, or if you were terminated without a good reason, you may be a victim of sexual orientation discrimination. Other examples of discrimination include being denied spousal health benefits because you are gay or lesbian, getting paid a lower salary, or being denied access to common bathrooms because of gender identity

Although federal law does not yet protect against sexual orientation discrimination in the private sector, there is an increase in case law that supports the illegality of such discrimination. If you are a resident of California, and feel you have been the victim of sexual orientation discrimination, whether you are perceived to be gay or actually are, then you need to talk with a lawyer who understands the discrimination laws and keeps updated on the changing laws.

Yarian and Associates can help you to protect your rights in the workplace whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. We fight discrimination in all its various forms. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and to discuss your workplace rights.

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