Sexual Orientation Discrimination
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Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is treated differently or harassed based on his or her bisexual, gay, lesbian, or heterosexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. Discrimination includes any type of adverse employment action, including firing, demotion, job reassignment, or denial of benefits. Harassment is also a form of discrimination, and it can include name-calling, comments, or physical abuse that causes a hostile work environment. If you have been a victim of mistreatment in the workplace, you should retain an employment discrimination attorney to sue for damages. Gallenberg PC consists of experienced Los Angeles sexual orientation discrimination attorneys. Our firm does not charge potential clients for an initial intake. The best and fastest way to get a case evaluation is through our online form, but you can also feel free to call us in Burbank at (818) 237-5267, in Los Angeles at (213) 986-8432, or in Beverly Hills at (310) 295-1654.Does California Law Prohibit Sexual Orientation Discrimination?
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee based on his or her sexual orientation. An employer is also prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on his or her association with someone with a particular sexual orientation. Harassment in the workplace based on sexual orientation is also prohibited, as is retaliation for filing a claim or otherwise exercising the right to engage in protected activity. Negative treatment that is prohibited includes termination, unfair performance reviews, demotions, workplace bullying, or reassignment to unfavorable shifts or duties.
You can file a lawsuit under FEHA for sexual orientation discrimination, but before doing so you need to exhaust your administrative remedies with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). After it investigates, DFEH can provide you with a Notice of Right to Sue. You have one year from the date of the discriminatory action to file a complaint with DFEH.What About Federal Law?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces and interprets Title VII and certain other federal anti-discrimination laws. Although there is no explicit prohibition against sexual orientation discrimination in workplaces under federal law, the EEOC has held that both sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination are forms of sex discrimination because they are based on gender stereotypes. Therefore, Title VII protects employees against sexual orientation discrimination if their employer has 15 or more employees.
You have 180 days from the date of a discriminatory act to file an administrative charge with the EEOC, in contrast to the one year that you have to file a charge with DFEH. These charges can be cross-filed.Compensation in a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuit
If you bring a lawsuit and successfully establish that you were discriminated against based on your sexual orientation, you likely will be able to recover damages, including lost wages, emotional distress, fees, and costs. In some situations, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish and deter your employer.Retain a Los Angeles Attorney for a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim
If you are affected by discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you should consult a Los Angeles sexual orientation discrimination lawyer about whether you may have a case. Often, it is helpful to consult an attorney even before you file a charge. Gallenberg PC represents people who need an employment discrimination or sexual harassment attorney in many Southern California cities, including Burbank, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Van Nuys, Glendale, Downey, and Inglewood. Call us in Burbank at (818) 237-5267, in Los Angeles at (213) 986-8432, or in Beverly Hills at (310) 295-1654. For the fastest response, however, we advise you to contact us online.