There is no question that discrimination due to sexual orientation, identity, or expression is not only wrong but unlawful. However, that does not mean that it does not happen. The good news is that if you are the victim of this type of discrimination, an employment law attorney might be able to help you fight for fair compensation. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 562-222-0146 to learn more. In the meantime, keep reading to get answers to some of the most common questions about this topic.
Is it legal for my employer to discriminate against me because I am LGBTQ?
No. Both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act (Title VII) make it illegal for an employer to fire, demote, refuse to hire, promote, harass, or otherwise discriminate against you because of your sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression (for example, by paying a lower wage or denying benefits that other workers receive).
Are there any exceptions to the rule that all LGBTQ workers are protected under California and federal laws?
The majority of employees in California are protected by these regulations, although there are a few exceptions. Employees of religious institutions such as churches and mosques, as well as employees of extremely small businesses. The discrimination protections detailed above apply to businesses with at least 5 workers (and the harassment requirements apply to all businesses, even if you are the sole employee), whereas federal discrimination protections apply to businesses with at least 15 employees.
Is it legal for my employer to discriminate against me because I am a member of the LGBTQ community?
No. Harassment is a kind of discrimination in which you are subjected to a hostile, unpleasant, or intimidating work environment as a result of your sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression by an employer (or a coworker with the employer’s knowledge). To be illegal, the behavior must be unwelcome and harmful enough to prevent you from performing your job. You are protected against harassment by superiors, employees, customers, and other parties under the law.
Is it mandatory for my employer to recognize my non-binary identity?
Yes. Gender non-conforming and non-binary identities are recognized under California law, and employers must respect all gender identities and manifestations.
Is it safe for me to come out at work?
Yes. If you haven’t already done so, you have the option of coming out. Your employer cannot legally treat you unfairly or discriminate against you because you are gay.
Am I safe if I transition?
Yes. The employee’s transgender and transitioning status is protected under California and federal law. You have the right to inform your employer that you are transitioning, and your employer cannot treat you unfairly as a result of your transition.
Is it harassment if my boss refers to me by the wrong name and pronoun on a regular basis?
Whether or not you have officially changed your name or gender marker, you have the right to be addressed by your lived name and pronouns. It might be unlawful harassment if your employer continues to address you incorrectly after you have notified them of your proper name and pronoun.
Do you have additional questions about this issue? Then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 562-222-0146. You deserve a safe and respectful work environment and we will fight to help you get that.