Articles Posted in LGBT discrimination

Discrimination of transgender professionals is nothing new, though Californians may not realize the employment protections trans workers are afforded in this state don’t apply to all.transgender discrimination lawyer

That’s because even as the California Fair Housing and Employment Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of one’s sexuality, gender and gender identity, the federal government does not. But military personnel who are transgender went from being told at the tail end of the Obama administration that they could serve openly and have access to psychological and gender-affirming medical care, the Trump administration has effectively ushered in a new “don’t ask, don’t tell” phase for service members who are transgender.

As noted in a report by the non-partisan Palm Center, while this is not a “ban,” neither was “don’t ask, don’t tell” under former President Bill Clinton. Nonetheless, both policies did/will have the impact of systematically removing transgender individuals from the military or, just like DADT, ensure their gender identity is kept silent and invisible.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission still continues to insist (as it was prior to Trump’s election) that LGBT discrimination in employment was a form of gender discrimination under Title VII. That stance has been resisted by the Department of Justice under Trump, though several courts have sided with the EEOC on this. Nonetheless, the transgender military policy formally went into effect this month. Continue reading

It is illegal – in California and across the U.S., per the EEOC –  to discriminate against a job applicant based on their race, color, religion, gender (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy) national origin, age (over 40), disability or genetic information. Yet one of the most frequently-used forums to lure new hires has essentially been facilitating just that, according to critics and a few employment lawsuits filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communication Workers of America. Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney

Social media giant Facebook has faced years of criticism that it allowed companies advertising job listings to use key categories allowing employers to cherry-pick who their ads would be shown to based on age group, gender and race. The New York Times now reports Facebook has agreed it will stop doing this.

It’s not just prospective employees that have been complaining either. Those advertising credit and housing have also been allowed to screen their ads so that they would only show to a certain subset of social media users. (Housing and credit are also regulated by federal anti-discrimination laws that bar selection of applicants on such bases.) Continue reading

In order to be successful in claiming employment discrimination in California, employees must first assert they are part of a protected class that received unfair treatment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that to discriminate means to treat someone less favorably and disparately, with federal protections extending to individuals on the basis of gender, religion, color, race, national origin, disability or age (over 40). In California, unlawful practices spelled out by the Fair Employment and Housing Act 12940 outlines protections for these classes, but also for:

  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Gender identity/gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military or veteran statusemployment discrimination attorney Los Angeles

Part of the reason California’s additional protected classes matter is they go farther than federal law, giving unfairly-treated employees more options to pursue action.

As Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can explain, “protected classes” aren’t merely limited to minorities. But employment discrimination is often subtle – and doesn’t necessarily need to actually be a part of a protected class in order to be protected. Discrimination based on the perception of belonging or association with others in these classes can be actionable in California employment discrimination cases too.

Perceived Protected Class Employment Discrimination Continue reading

Next month, newly-elected Democrats will be seated in the U.S. House of Representatives, and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, likely next Speaker of the House, has vowed to make a priority of establishing widespread equal rights for LGBTQ individuals – including anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. As our Los Angeles LGBTQ discrimination attorneys can explain, polling evidence shows that since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 ruled same sex couples are constitutionally allowed to marry, public support for LGBTQ rights has surged and religious resistance has waned. And while California and 19 other states already have anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ workers, there has never been a federal equality law for these individuals. lgbtq discrimination attorney

The Obama administration did extend some protections, issuing guidelines that protected transgender students and taking the firm position that Title VII’s law regarding gender-based employment protections apply to LGBTQ people. The Trump administration summarily began tearing that all down, banning transgender people from the military, broadening religious exemptions for federal contractors who discriminate against LGBTQ people, proposing a repeal of Section 1557 that protected transgender people from health care discrimination, arguing Title VII law does NOT extend protection to transgender workers and issuing numerous executive orders effectively rolling back LGBTQ rights.

Our LGBTQ discrimination attorneys in Los Angeles and others have been fighting back in the courts, but a federal Equality Act would offer clear, decisive protections nationwide.

Historical Fight for LGBTQ Equality 

By-and-large, the hammer of the courts has fallen squarely on the side of LGBTQ worker rights and protections. A new law would help cement very explicit protections for people based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas like employment, education, housing, credit, public accommodations, jury service and a number of federal programs. Continue reading

If you are a transgender person living in America today, chances are you have some grave concerns about the current political climate – specifically with regard to transgender discrimination in the workplace. As longtime Los Angeles gender discrimination attorneys, it’s been difficult to see certain federal-level protections wane or threatened, especially because they weren’t all that solid to start. What you need to know as a transgender person in California is that this state does have protections, even if federal authorities ultimately decide to narrow the definition of gender for Title IX purposes, which bans discrimination in education, and Title VII federal civil rights employment discrimination. As L.A. employment attorneys can explain, these protections are based on five different categories – which includes gender.transgender discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

Federal Government May Limit Transgender Employee Protections

A number of recent reports indicate that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is getting ready to formally present a proposal to the Justice Department before the close of this year that would more strictly define gender as binary – a biological, immutable condition defined by the genitalia with which one is born. Of course, almost every transgender person will tell you that they did not “choose” to their gender identity, but rather it chose them. This is very similar to sexual orientation, though this is a wholly separate issue from gender identity.

Despite the fact that the American Medical Association has debunked any notion that trans people aren’t fit to serve in the U.S. military or that gender dysphoria (distress arising from a perceived mismatch of the gender with which one was born versus the one with which one identifies) is a problem that can’t be alleviated with care. Some political groups have gone so far as to disguise junk science from an anti-LGBTQ group (American College of Pediatricians) as the longstanding, respected and gender-affirming American Academy of Pediatrics. Continue reading

U.S. and California law provide very specific discrimination protections for employees who have historically been the greatest targets. Typically, these are women, racial minorities, older workers and those with disabilities. We’ve come a long way in the last 50- to- 60-years in ensuring California workers aren’t fired, demoted, transferred or miss out on key benefits because of prejudice by their employers. However, a key component of those protections is the worker’s classification. Those who are classified as “employees” are entitled to a host of employment law protections – everything from minimum wages and regular mandated breaks to reasonable accommodations if one one’s pregnancy requires restrictions. Los Angeles employment attorneys often have to explain another important protection denied independent contractors: Anti-discrimination laws. workplace discrimination Los Angeles

Approximately 1 in 7 jobs in America is classified as independent contractor or some other contingent-employment arrangement. This amounts to millions of Americans – roughly 14 percent in all, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – whose work as freelancers, consultants, temporary agency laborers and contractors who are denied protections against discrimination for their age, race, gender, religion and disability. So for instance, while most employees can expect to be protected from age discrimination from their employer when they reach the age of 40, a freelancer has no such guarantee.

There are some analyses that suggest the unprotected workforce could be even larger. For instance, the California-based Staffing Industry Analysts recently released information indicating roughly 30 percent of American workers could be counted in the “contingent workforce.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes it clear that anti-discrimination statutes exempt independent contractors as well as those working for employment agencies. Sometimes, anti-discrimination protections depend on the number of employees a company has.  Continue reading

California is one of the few states that prohibits transgender discrimination in housing and employment. Cal. Gov’t. Code Section 12940(a) stipulates it’s unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or employ someone or to discharge from employment or to discriminate against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges because of one’s gender identity. transgender discrimination

However, many other states lack such protections, and now, one transgender discrimination in employment case out of Michigan could go before the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially making it lawful for workplaces around the country to take adverse employment actions against workers on the basis of their sexual identity.

As reported by Lawrence-Journal World, the Kansas Attorney General is joining with officials from 15 other states, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to expressly declare transgender workers not protected by federal workplace anti-discrimination laws. In particular, they are requesting the U.S. Supreme Court reverse a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Michigan, which decided the word “sex” used in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 – particularly in Title VII – does include transgender status and gender identity.  Continue reading

Imagine not being able to put a photo of your family on your desk. Think about what you would do if you couldn’t talk aboutsexual orientation rights simple weekend plans with co-workers. What would you do if you couldn’t even mention the name of your significant other? This is the reality for almost half of LGBTQ employees nationwide, according to a Human Rights Campaign report. A survey of workers of all sexual orientations found that of those who identified at LGBTQ, 46 percent still hide their orientation at work, a number that has remained about the same over the past 10 years. A Human Rights Campaign Report from 2008 tallied 50 percent of LGBTQ respondents as being closeted in the workplace.

Further data collected from those who identified as LGBTQ paints a pretty clear picture as to why many still hide their private lives. About 20 percent said they were told to dress in a way that was more aligned with their perceived gender. Over 50 percent said they had heard jokes about homosexuality at work at least once in while. These stats likely have contributed to the next data point: 31 percent report feeling depressed or unhappy in the workplace. Continue reading

Last year, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing put in place new regulations to protect employees from discrimination for gender transgender discriminationidentity and gender expression in the workplace, as outlined in the CA Code of Regulations, Title 2, sections 11030, 11031, and 11034. We are proud that California has always been on the forefront of such protections and our legal team continues to push for rights of groups vulnerable to workplace discrimination.

However, we know many people throughout the country remain a target for gender expression discrimination.

The attention of the nation is currently on Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which recently was sued by a transgender woman, who alleges she was fired after complaining to management about harassment she said she experienced on the job. She also filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to an article from Reuters, plaintiff worked for 11 years at a Sam’s Club (owned by Wal-Mart) in North Carolina. She claims to have endured harassment in her supervisor position in the company, alleging employees called her numerous slurs and her boss made unwanted physical advances. She alleges she was fired in 2015 after she complained about the hostile work environment, which she said had been escalating for a number of years since she began her female gender expression in 2008. Continue reading

For many California residents, employment discrimination is an all too common part of life, with experiences ranging from subtle biases to outright threats, violence or loss of opportunities to advance.Employment Dsicrimination Lawyers

Certain groups receive the brunt of this treatment more than others: Women, the elderly, people of color, LGBTQ community members, those from certain foreign nations or followers of some religions. But the discrimination compounds for people who fit more than one of these categories. This inter-sectional discrimination can be seen in particular among people in a racial minority group as well as the LGBTQ community.

According to a recent poll by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, NPR, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, people of color said they had been discriminated against at twice the rate as white respondents for being LGBTQ when applying for jobs, as well as in police interactions. Continue reading