Articles Posted in LGBT discrimination

In a landmark civil rights case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that existing law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers from workplace discrimination – a huge win for LGBT equality that The New York Times characterized as “stunning.” LGBT discrimination lawyer Orange County

As our Orange County employment lawyers can explain, the question in this case was whether the provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 barring discrimination on the basis of sex extends to lesbian, gay and transgender workers. In a 6-3 vote, justices ruled that it does. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the 172-page majority opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. This has the potential to benefit millions of gay and transgender workers.

While previous LGBT rights cases in recent years have been concerned with constitutional law, this new ruling, which covers two sets of cases – Bostock v. Clayton County and Stephens v. R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. – is concerned primarily with statutory interpretation. The first were two lawsuits filed by gay men who alleged they were terminated from their jobs because they are gay. The second was a lawsuit filed from a transgender woman who allege

Even though marriage equality has become the law of the land, there are still 30 states that lack explicit employment discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers. California, thankfully, isn’t one of them. The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to render a decision in two cases wherein plaintiffs argue that Title VII protections against gender discrimination should extend to LGBTQ workers. (Justice Neil Gorsuch remarked during oral arguments that the case was “really close.”)LGBTQ teacher discrimination

That decision will have a huge impact for LGBTQ public school teachers and employees.

History of LGBTQ Discrimination in Schools

Schools have a long history of discrimination against gay and lesbian teachers – from public elementary schools to prestigious universities. In the 1950s and 1960s, Florida lawmakers created a committee designed to identify and fire educators who were gay and lesbian. Some 200 LGBTQ teachers lost their jobs. Continue Reading ›

A recently-released Starbucks advertisement in the UK has been hailed for its progressive take on gender identity acceptance. A barista asks for the name of a customer for use on a coffee cup. He gives her the name with which he identifies – not his “deadname,” the one he was given at birth. The commercial has won an award for helping to address the transgender community’s lack of representation in advertising. LGBT discrimination

However, employees with the company say they have faced transgender discrimination at multiple locations across the country. Employees say they have been outed, misgendered, confronted by their deadnames in company software and had difficulty accessing gender-affirming medical treatment under the company’s medical insurance plans.

Some employees say they had to be transferred to new locations due to these issues and harassment – only to experience the same type of treatment at the new location. One former employee told BuzzFeed he complained about the situation to corporate, but didn’t hear any response until he took his complaint to Twitter. It was only then a spokesperson for the company apologized and promised to investigate. The worker said that while the company appears to be trying to make changes at the corporate level, addressing it at individual stores has proven challenging. Continue Reading ›

For 20 years, a Bay Area officer for the California Highway Patrol said he was harassed and even endangered by his co-workers because of his homosexuality. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that as if enduring constant taunts and vandalism at numerous substations wasn’t enough, the openly gay officer reported that on a daily basis, he was denied backup from his colleagues while handling dangerous calls. He was the only officer consistently denied backup. When he won offer of the year, the picture of the previous year’s winner remained prominently in the lobby, until the following year when someone else won. No one else had been denied that honor. He began to suffer anxiety, stress, headaches and stomach issues. He became suicidal. He filed for workers’ compensation, and was eventually granted disability retirement, effectively ending his employment with the agency. LGBT discrimination attorneys

In 2016, he filed his second administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Housing and Employment, alleging sexual orientation discrimination, harassment, failure to prevent harassment, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A request for summary judgment in favor of the defense was granted on the basis of a missed filing deadline.

Now, a California appellate court has reinstated his case, finding merit with plaintiff’s claim for exception under the doctrines of equitable tolling, continuing violation and constructive discharge.

Our Los Angeles LGBT discrimination attorneys are committed to helping those who have faced workplace harassment, hostility and discrimination due to their sexuality obtain justice.  Continue Reading ›

As an employee in California, you have rights under both state and federal law that protect you from harassment and discrimination based on your belonging to a protected classification. For example, if you are a woman paid substantially less than male colleagues doing the same work, that’s a form of gender discrimination on the basis of sex – a protected class. Los Angeles employment lawyer

In fielding hundreds of inquiries over the years from California workers whose rights are being violated on-the-job, our Los Angeles employment attorneys want to ensure as many people as possible understand what exactly harassment, discrimination and retaliation is and how to best address it.

What is Workplace Discrimination? 

Discrimination is adverse treatment by an employer against workers who fall into a protected class. California employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity/expression
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Military/veteran status
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking or assault

This is much more extensive than the federal law, and some cities in California have their own rules that extend protections even further. Continue Reading ›

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sharply divided over the question of whether landmark civil rights law prohibiting gender discrimination on-the-job also extends to gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

Reuters reports the deciding vote could be Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative who has, on occasion, proven a swing vote. LGBT discrimination lawyer

Los Angeles LGBT employment discrimination attorneys and advocates have been following the case developments closely. The high court has never before ruled on transgender rights – employment or otherwise. In order for the case to be decided in favor of the employee plaintiffs at least one conservative justice would need to join the liberal minority.

Over two hours of oral testimony, three workers (one transgender and two gay) sought to convince justices they were entitled to the same protected status as other workers discriminated against on the basis of their biological gender – a protection expressly extended under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (That law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of color, race, religion and national origin.) Continue Reading ›

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in three cases alleging LGBTQ workplace discrimination. In an amicus brief (documents filed in appellate matters by non-litigants – or amicus curiae – with a strong interest in the stakes), some of the biggest U.S. companies urged the court to rule that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning workers. LGBTQ discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

In their brief, more than 200 companies in all argued that their own corporate anti-discrimination policies cannot serve as an adequate substitute to the law. It is the position of these companies – among them Amazon, Bank of America, Microsoft, Starbucks and Walt Disney – that LGBTQ workers have inherent protections under existing federal rights law.

Most argue this in the context of gender discrimination, but the problem is is no express terminology from the legislature opining these rights exist in U.S. law. That has resulted in courts in different jurisdictions reaching inconsistent conclusions. Continue Reading ›

Protection from workplace discrimination has expanded ten-fold in the last 70 year, reflective of our cultural progress within that time. Women, people of color, those of all faiths, ages and nationalities – are shielded under state and federal statutes from adverse employment action on these bases. LGBT discrimination attorney

Yet even as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals still are entitled to the fewest employment protections under the law. California, at least, is known as one of if not the most LGBT-friendly states for workers whose sexuality or gender identity does not adhere to “traditional” norms.

The California Fair Housing and Employment Act expressly protects workers and applicants on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Federal law, unfortunately, does not, and many states don’t have the supplemental protections that California enjoys.

That doesn’t mean of course that workers still don’t face these challenges, but with an experienced LGBT employment discrimination attorney to help fight back, your odds of success are much more favorable. Continue Reading ›

California is known for its progressive stances on a myriad of issues, including civil rights of LGBTQ individuals. That doesn’t mean they don’t face down discrimination at work or everyday life. What it does mean, though, is that workers LGBTQ workers can successfully fight back on such injustices, a goal to which our LGBTQ employment discrimination attorneys in Los Angeles are committed. Los Angeles LGBTQ Discrimination Attorney

Recently in Hesperia, a teacher was awarded a significant financial settlement after she was allegedly retaliated against with termination for helping LGBTQ students blow the whistle on their mistreatment by school administrators. The former high school English teacher was awarded an $850,000 settlement – and a promise to improve school policies.

The case was filed in 2015, when the ACLU of Southern California contacted the district with allegations of a hostile learning environment for gay and lesbian students. The district has since agreed to review and alter its policies, mandating administrators and staff undergo training on discrimination and clarifying its anti-discrimination procedures and policies. Continue Reading ›

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 ›

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