Harvey Milk Remembered on Birthday for Fight to End Job Discrimination in California

Many younger residents of California only know about the life of Harvey Milk from the movie in which Milk was portrayed by Sean Penn. While that movie did a good job telling the story of Milk’s life and work, many in California benefited from his efforts long before they even knew anything about him.

job-concept-1445172-4-mAccording to a recent feature from Huffington Post, many in California, especially in the LGBT community, are celebrating Milk’s life on the week of what would have been his 85th birthday. Milk had run without success three times before becoming elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. The main platform of each of his campaigns was to create laws to protect workers form employment discrimination due to their sexual orientation.

When Milk chose to run for represent the eastern half of the city on the state assembly he was defeated by Art Agnos. Agnos pledged he would the legislation Milk had fought for over and over again until it was signed into law. In 1976, his anti-discrimination employment law was passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor.

While Milk was on the Board of Supervisors, he drafted a comprehensive anti-discrimination ordinance that was soon passed and signed by the governor. This was the same year in which Argos introduced another bill to outlaw discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Many supporters thought the legislature would quickly passed the law, but this was not the case.

As our Orange County LGBT employment discrimination attorneys can explain, this bill took many years to finally get passed and signed into law. Even this process did not go smoothly. After more than a decade in committee it was finally passed and the governor Pete Wilson vetoed the bill as he said he would if it ever made it to his desk.   They led to public protests across the state and riots in San Francisco. The following year Wilson decided to end his attempts to veto the anti-discrimination law and signed it into law.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with other forms of employment discrimination in California, the mere fact a law exists is not enough to end the type of discrimination of which the legislation aims to outlaw. However, the law does provide a mechanism for legal redress in the event an employee is discriminated against by his or her employer based on his or her sexual orientation.

If you believe your employer is discriminating against you based upon your sexual orientation, contact an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible. Even if your employer has not directly engaged in any discrimination based upon your sexual orientation, but instead allowed other employees or third-party vendors to do so with his or her knowledge, and took no action, you may have a case for employment discrimination and you should speak with an attorney to discuss your rights.

It is important to act as quickly as possible because unfortunately, these situations do not usually resolve themselves as many sexual orientation employment discrimination victims would like to believe. On the contrary, when this type of unacceptable behavior is allowed to go unchecked, the harassment and discrimination may get worse.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

Remembering Harvey Milk and His Fight to End Job Discrimination, May 22, 2015, Huffington Post

More Blog Entries:

EEOC Sues Restaurant for Discrimination Against Male Applicants, Feb. 5, 2015, Orange County Employment Lawyer Blog