Sexual Orientation Harassment
Sexual orientation discrimination occurs when an employee suffers an adverse employment action because of the person’s sexual orientation (homosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality). For example, if an employee who is gay is treated differently than his co-workers -- is unfairly passed over for promotion, or is demoted, or his/her work hours are cut, or receives an unfair performance evaluation, or is excluded from meetings and training, or is suspended, or is fired -- that employee may have a viable claim for sexual orientation harassment if the reasons for the adverse employment actions were because of the employee’s sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation discrimination can also occur when an employer perceives the employee is gay, even if he/she is not, and, based on the mistaken belief that the employee is gay, takes an adverse employment action against that employee. It is also unlawful to discriminate against someone who is associated with someone who is gay. For example, if an employee is the child of parents who are gay, he/she may have a claim against the employer if the employer knew and acted in a way that negatively impacted the employee’s job.Transgender Discrimination
A related type of unlawful discrimination is transgender discrimination. Some individuals do not identify as male or female. California law protects non-gender conforming individuals who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth and who express their identity through dress, behavior, voice and body language which is not stereotypically associated with their assigned sex at birth.
Transgender employees have the right to work in a work environment free of discrimination. For example, a transgender employee has the right to use a workplace restroom that corresponds to the employee’s gender identity regardless of the employee’s assigned sex at birth.
If you believe you have suffered discrimination in the workplace because of your gender identity, please contact us.