Protection from LBGTQ Discrimination at workAttitudes and legal protections toward homosexuality and LGBTQ people in general have changed dramatically, for the better, in recent decades. Unfortunately, discrimination and harassment against people who identify as LGBTQ still exist. When it occurs in the workplace, it can threaten both your livelihood and your emotional well-being.

Sexual orientation or LGBTQ employment discrimination and harassment isn't just harmful—it's illegal. This type of discrimination is illegal in all aspects of employment, including hiring, training, pay, advancement, and firing. Both federal and California State laws prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants or employees based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you have experienced sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination or harassment in a job interview or at your work, JCS Law Firm can help you hold your employer accountable for their unlawful conduct.

Legal Protections

Sexual orientation is protected by provisions in Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, but California State law provides even broader protections for LGBTQ workers. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects job applicants and employees from discrimination or harassment due to sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Recognizing Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Harassment in Hiring and Employment

Sexual orientation discrimination and harassment can take a variety of forms in the workplace. While some instances of discrimination are fairly obvious, others can be more subtle. Here are just a few examples of actions that could fall under this category of illegal discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community in the workplace:

  • Refusing to hire job applicants due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression
  • Denying employees promotions or other advancement opportunities for sexual orientation 
  • Making salary or job assignment decisions based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Showing preferential treatment to workers of a specific sexual orientation
  • Giving workers poor performance reviews for no reason other than their actual or perceived sexual orientation 
  • Making discriminatory and harassing jokes, comments, insults, threats, or disparaging remarks
  • Sending discriminatory emails or text messages 
  • Circulating discriminatory photos, videos, or memes
  • Creating a hostile work environment toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or other LGBTQ employers