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Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

Sexual Orientation Discrimination


Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace is a very real and pervasive issue. While there are policies in place to prevent this unjust practice, they are not yet widespread enough to ensure employees are not treated unfairly because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

What is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits any form of discrimination against any person because of his or her sexual orientation, including, heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality. Additionally, FEHA forbids discrimination on the basis of an employee’s gender-related appearance, gender identity, gender expression, and gender-related behavior, regardless of whether that behavior is outside the mainstream or associated with the employee’s assigned sex at birth.

Being treated unfairly or in a manner not consistent with the treatment of other employees because of your sexual preference is sexual orientation discrimination and is unlawful behavior. Unfortunately, those who identify as homosexual, bisexual, transexual, or asexual are often singled out and discriminated against by their employer or coworkers.

What are Examples of Sexual Orientation Discrimination?

Sexual orientation discrimination can start off in a seemingly innocuous fashion. An employer might ask an employee about their relationship status. When they learn that they are married or involved with someone of the same sex, they might make remarks that are intended to be humorous but which are in fact demeaning and hurtful. Such instances tend to show that an employer is biased against those of a certain sexual orientation.

Likewise, employers may also use an employee’s sexual orientation as a way to alienate them from the group, tease, or pick on them. Even if the person is qualified and competent, they might use their orientation to cast doubts about their ability to fulfill certain duties. Discriminating against someone’s sexual orientation can have a detrimental effect on their ability to perform a job. Employers often use their position of authority to try to shame employees whose sexual orientation they do not agree with.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination In the Workplace

Sexual orientation discrimination can create an oppressive work environment, one in which employees feel they have to hide their sexual orientation and their true selves because of fear of retaliation or termination.

The good news is that California expressly prohibits this kind of discrimination. It’s understandably difficult and stressful to go to work, not knowing if your sexual orientation is going to be a factor in your ability to get through the day and excel in your position. Speaking with an employment discrimination attorney can help with these concerns

Gender Identity Discrimination

Gender identity discrimination is another form of sexual orientation discrimination under FEHA and is expressly protected. Such discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly on the basis of their gender identity. For people who are transgender, discrimination can be extremely difficult to deal with. Under FEHA, an employer is required to allow an employee to dress or present themselves consistently with that employee’s gender identity or gender expression.

Dealing with Sexual Orientation Discrimination

  1. Determine How You Were Discriminated Against

    You need to have a clear idea of how you were discriminated against. Discrimination might not be obvious at first. Employers might try to disguise harassment as playful workplace banter and argue that any insulting remarks aren’t meant to be personal.

    However, bringing up someone’s sexual orientation, without their approval or knowing of their disapproval, creates an inference of discrimination. If you have found it difficult to work at your office due to how others are treating or teasing you, a sexual orientation discrimination claim can be made.

  2. Hire a Lawyer

    You need to find a qualified sexual orientation discrimination lawyer to evaluate and get started on your case as soon as possible. They should be experienced with employment discrimination lawsuits, especially with ones pertaining to sexual orientation discrimination.

  3. Documenting Your Case

    You should be as diligent as possible when it comes to documenting your case. Take your time by gathering as much evidence as possible. These include documents, emails, text messages, voicemails, and the like. This can help establish a pattern of abuse or discriminatory animus.

Depending on your employer’s history of discrimination, you might not be the only one who has been treated unfairly based on sexual orientation. Advise your attorney about anyone who may have witnessed the harassment or discriminatory actions towards you. Provide your attorney with their contact information so that a witness statement may be obtained.

Contact Us To Find Out How We Can Help

If you believe you are or have been discriminated against on the basis of your sexual orientation, you need to take action immediately. West Coast Trial Lawyers offers experienced and caring sexual orientation discrimination lawyers to victims of sexual orientation discrimination. Our attorneys will work with you, look over your case thoroughly, and help you seek justice and fair compensation.

With a sexual orientation discrimination lawyer by your side, you can fight against your mistreatment in the workplace. Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers at any time for a free consultation by calling 1-800-247-9235. Our employment discrimination lawyers are ready to help.



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