Unfortunately, in past decades gays and lesbians have been discriminated against or harassed at work because of their sexual orientation. Fortunately, in recent years the country has taken big steps forward in giving gays and lesbians legal rights to which they are entitled. However, discrimination still can occur in the workplace and sometimes it occurs in the workplace.
Federal law does not specifically outlaw discrimination or harassment at work based on sexual orientation. However, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination based on some factors is illegal at work, including sex. In recent years the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that job discrimination against LGBT individuals was based on sex in some cases and was therefore illegal. In some cases people who are discriminated against or harassed at work because of their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation could bring a claim under federal law. Under federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against federal employees at work because of sexual orientation. It is also illegal under California law. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it illegal to harass or discriminate in employment based on sexual orientation, as well as gender, gender identity and gender expression.
Workplace sexual orientation discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently based on his or her sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. A person can be heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual, and still suffer from sexual orientation discrimination. By law, it doesn’t matter if the employer’s perception of your orientation is right or wrong in order to have a discrimination claim. If you were harassed at work because of your orientation, you may have a claim.
Some examples of sexual orientation discrimination include:
– Not being hired or being fired because of sexual orientation
– Being denied a promotion because of sexual orientation
– Harassment at work because of actual or perceived sexual orientation
– Being asked not to bring your partner to work functions.
In all of these situations, employees were treated in a discriminatory way because of actual or perceived sexual orientation.
Micha Star Liberty at Liberty Law believes that no one should be discriminated against at work because of sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. If you are discriminated against at work because of your sexual orientation, you have legal rights to exercise.
An employer also cannot retaliate against you because you have stood up for your legal rights, such as by filing a discrimination complaint or participating in a proceeding involving sexual orientation discrimination. If you are retaliated against at work for opposing employment practices that you believe are discriminatory, you may also have a claim against the employer.
If you are in the Oakland – San Francisco area, and have been harassed or discriminated against at work because of your sexual orientation, you may wish to exercise your legal rights. Call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland sexual orientation discrimination attorney, at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000.