Updated: Apr 23
What can LGBTQ+ employees do when they become targets of discrimination?
Sexual Orientation Discrimination refers to willful bias against people who are not heterosexual in orientation. It is sometimes referred to as LGBTQ+ discrimination (includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, etc.).
Although, by basic definition, Sexual Orientation Discrimination should cover all forms of discrimination brought by prejudice against an employee's sexuality. If allusions are made to the subject's sexuality, whether regarded as "straight" or not, it should count. In your California Attorney Search, consider learning about what you might encounter.
So, let's discuss LGBT+ employee rights, as they are often handled by our best discrimination lawyers in California.
While a heterosexual worker discriminating against an LGBTQ+ employee is a common scenario, discrimination may also occur in the opposite direction, with an LGBTQ+ employee discriminating against a heterosexual employee. However, the LGBTQ+ community has had a long history of exclusion and discrimination. Most of the time, they're on the receiving end of it.
Discrimination can begin innocently enough, but it may escalate into serious acts such as deliberate infliction of emotional or mental stress, physical attack or battery, defamation, and/or invasion of privacy.
Discrimination may occur based on both actual and perceived sexual orientation, regardless of how victims identify themselves. Even if an employee is not a lesbian or is not out at work as a lesbian, it is discrimination if an employee claims another employee is a lesbian and discriminates against them as a result.
How to Spot It
LGBT discrimination in the workplace may be overt or covert. Still, each case requires an adverse job action as a result of a colleague's prejudice.
Here are examples of what to look out for:
Finding out that an applicant or employee engages in a same-sex relationship, and a company refuses to recruit, withdraws a job offer, or fires an employee.
Refusing to promote someone because of their sexual orientation.
Promoting non-LBGTQ+ workers who are less eligible.
Paying an LGBTQ+ employee less than other workers who do the same job.
Excluding LGBTQ+ staff from some forms of employment.
Workers who are LGBTQ+ are denied the same benefits as straight, cis-gender, or heterosexual employees.
An employer allowing a target's coworkers to create hostile work environments; i.e., allowing or ignoring incidents of bullying, microaggressions, targeted harassment.
California law protects workers from workplace abuse, such as threats, hostile conduct, or repetitive, derogatory jokes that specifically target an individual's sexual orientation, in addition to barring employers from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation. If you've been experiencing any of these, consult with the Top Employment Lawyers in California to protect your rights.
LGBTQ+ Workers in California
Fortunately, California is one of the states with the largest number of working lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. All discrimination based on an employees' sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity is prohibited under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
The prohibition includes hiring, promoting, firing, demoting, or any other acts that affect an employee's pay, benefits, working conditions, and other factors related to their employment. It prohibits discriminatory actions on the grounds of an employee being a man or a woman or failing to conform to a stereotype or socially-constructed expectation of how an individual should act.
California's Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects LGBTQ+ and gender non-c