According to a 2020 survey, one in three LGBTQ Americans experienced unfair treatment in the previous 12 months. Despite significant global progress, many people still disagree about sexual orientation and gender identity. There are issues even at work.
Even though it is illegal, some employers still treat their employees differently based on gender or sexual orientation. At Fraigun Law Group, our employment law attorneys are eager to end prejudice against LGBTQ people everywhere, including in the workplace.
Our Van Nuys LGBT discrimination lawyers believe that a person’s value at work should be determined by their job skills, not by their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Please do not hesitate to call us at 818-981-1800 and schedule a free initial consultation.
What Is LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace?
When employers treat lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or transgender people poorly, they engage in LGBT discrimination. LGBT people are battling for their civil rights in Congress, the courts, and the streets. The prejudice is real, as demonstrated by field studies, carefully conducted experiments, court cases, and grievances filed with community-based organizations, newspapers, and other media.
According to the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, 15 and 43 percent of gay and transgender employees have experienced unfair treatment at the workplace. Most surveyed claimed they had experienced verbal or physical abuse, and up to 17 percent of these employees claimed their termination was related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Examples of LGBTQ Discrimination
Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation can take many different forms. Whether they are heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, all job applicants and employees are protected under the law from discrimination in the workplace both before and after being hired.
Here are a few instances of the various types of discrimination that can occur.
When an employer treats one person worse than another due to sexual orientation is direct discrimination—for instance, giving a promotion to a straight person over a gay person who is equally or even more qualified due to their sexual orientation rather than those credentials.
You are engaging in direct discrimination when treating someone unfairly because you assume they are gay or lesbian. It can also refer to treating someone poorly because of having a gay friend or family member.
Indirect discrimination occurs when workplace policies, standards, procedures, or rules that apply to everyone equally may harm individuals with a particular sexual orientation.
For instance, LGBTQ employees may be disadvantaged because they are less likely to have children if your company has a policy requiring those without young families and children to work more unsociable shifts. Indirect discrimination may be acceptable when done fairly and with a good reason.
Harassment is any unwanted behavior that violates another person’s dignity or causes them to feel afraid, inferior, humiliated, or offended and is motivated by that person’s sexual orientation. It includes making homophobic remarks to an LGBT coworker or failing to call out colleagues who act in this way at work.
If an employer hasn’t taken all reasonable steps to stop the harassment, they may be held legally liable for the actions of their employees.
Retaliation occurs when someone reports being unlawfully harassed or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or acts as a whistleblower by providing evidence that supports a colleague reporting such behavior, and they face adverse employment action. This can include being demoted, negative performance reviews, and even wrongful termination.
The outcome can be disastrous when discrimination against LGBTQ people is a topic. We know how upsetting it can be to lose your job, be denied medical care, or experience other forms of discrimination due to your identity. Our LGBT discrimination lawyers in Van Nuys will take all necessary steps to make things right and end discrimination against LGBTQ people.
LGBTQ Legal Protection in California
Below are several U.S. and California laws prohibiting workplace discrimination against LGBT community members. Our Van Nuys LGBT discrimination attorney understands all these laws to ensure you’re your work in a conducive environment away from discrimination and prejudice.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers allegations of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation is illegal since it qualifies as discrimination based on sex/gender.
Executive Order 12968
President Bill Clinton added protections for sexual orientation to Executive Order 12968 in 1995. When he granted them access to classified information, he stated that the United States Government does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
Executive Order 13672
The term gender identity was added to the list of things exempt from discrimination by Executive Order 13672, which President Obama signed in 2014. This policy, which used Title VII to shield transgender employees from discrimination, has since been revoked by the Trump Administration.
California Fair Employment and Housing Act
California offers additional protections to members of the LGBT community through the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This law explicitly prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against employees in all stages of employment. However, this law only applies to employers with 5 or more employees.
The California Department of Employment and Housing (DFEH) is responsible for enforcing this law.
To file a lawsuit based on protections provided by FEHA, you need to file an official complaint with the DFEH.
How Can I Protect Myself From LGBTQ Discrimination
If you believe you are the victim of LGBTQ workplace harassment or unfair treatment, take the following actions.
Take Notes/Document Everything
Keep a record of what occurred by writing it down. Include the date, location, what happened, and anyone present. Make a list of the witnesses’ names. Additionally, you might want to keep any paper or electronic records that pertain to your case.
Get a Copy of the Company’s Conduct Policies
Consult the manual or code of conduct for your company when making your complaint. What conduct is prohibited by the corporate policy? Note any company policies that the perpetrators of discrimination/ harassment are violating when you make your complaint.
File a Complaint With the Company
Most of the time, the company handbook describes the reporting procedure for reporting discrimination or harassment. You should file an official complaint in writing. Keep records of each step you take and how the company responds to your complaint.
Submit Your Claim
EEOC claims must be filed right away. If you miss that deadline, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit according to federal law. The deadline to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment is 3 years.
At Fraigun Law Group, a Van Nuys LGBT discrimination lawyer works to ensure that all workers can be hired, fired, and promoted within an organization based on their abilities and deeds, regardless of their sexual lives. Other employment-related issues our sexual orientation discrimination lawyer can help with include sexual harassment, age discrimination, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination.
Contact an Experienced Van Nuys LGBT Discrimination Lawyer Today!
Unobtrusive rules that make it difficult for lesbians, gays, trans, and bi are to advance, take on more responsibility, engage with customers, use the restroom, and dress appropriately can be a form of discrimination. Our sexual orientation discrimination lawyer will help you file a case if you believe your gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity has been used against you at work.
At Fraigun Law Group, our Van Nuys LGBT discrimination attorney assists all LGBTQ workers who get harassed at work due to their gender or sexual orientation. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 818-981-1800 now to get a free consultation to discover what’s happening. Our skilled and compassionate LGBT discrimination lawyers in Van Nuys are always waiting to help victimized LGBTQ employees.