Articles Posted in LGBT discrimination

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

In a disappointing move for supporters of LGBT civil rights, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the opportunity to weigh an appeal by a security guard in Georgia who alleged she was harassed at work and ultimately forced to resign due to her sexuality. This refusal to hear the case means the court means there will be no review of federal law and interpretation as to whether laws against gender-based bias also protect lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender individuals for their sexual orientation. LGBT discrimination lawyer

It also means that the ruling issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit earlier this year. Had the highest court in the land chosen to review it, such a ruling might have settled the question that has been divided several lower courts: Does Title VII, banning gender discrimination, also protect people on the basis of their sexual orientation. Title VII does bar discrimination against workers based on religion, race, color and national origin, but makes no specific mention of sexual orientation. A number of states (including California) have enacted laws that protect LGBT workers, but at the federal level, there is no such guaranteed protection.

Five years ago, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces Title VII, began arguing that discrimination against LGBT employees is a violation of federal law. But that was a position taken under the Obama administration. This last summer, Trump administration officials argued the very opposite in the case of a skydiving instructor who lost his job after revealing to a customer he was gay. A ruling on that case is still pending.  Continue reading

Everybody knows what it means to be fired from a job. However, sometimes an employer aiming to get rid of an employee won’t actually fire the person. Instead, they create or allow to persist a hostile work environment that would force any reasonable person to quit.  The law calls this a “constructive discharge,” and it’s illegal.

Constructive Discharge Employment Cases in Orange County and Los Angeles

employment law attorneysAccording to a recent news article from the Huffington Post, constructive discharge cases are a lot more common than one might think, and they can be devastating to the employees who must work in these harsh environments.  This article focused on a complaint recently filed in Orange County Superior Court. Continue reading

Under the direction of new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice has filed papers in court arguing federal civil rights law doesn’t provide civil rights protections against discrimination for employees on the basis of sexual orientation. This is in stark contrast to the directives of President Barack Obama’s administration. employment discrimination

The move was an unusual one, wherein the department asserted its authority in a federal case pending in New York. It involves a basically private dispute between a worker in New York and his employer over the issue of gay rights and LGBTQ discrimination.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, the Justice Department wrote that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, national origin, race and color, does not, as a matter of law, protect those based on sexual orientation. The DOJ wrote that this is an issue that has “been settled for decades,” and that any effort to amend or alter the scope of Title VII needs to be directed to members of Congress, rather than the courts.  Continue reading

California has long been a pioneer of gender rights in the workplace. Since 2011, gender expression and gender identity have been protected classes under California’s anti-discrimination law.  And on July 1, 2017, new employment protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming employees took effect in California. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing now enforces regulations which expand protections for gender identity and gender expression in the workplace. According to The National Law Review, the following provisions are now effective:

Employment discrimination lawyers

  • Gender identity has been expanded to include those employees who are transitioning. Activities during the transition phase are protected, such as: changes in name or pronoun usage; use of bathroom facilities; and medical procedures associated with a transition (such as hormone therapy or surgeries). Employers may not discriminate against transitioning employees for engaging in any of these activities, or other actions related to the transition.
  • Employers may not inquire about, or request documentation about, an employee’s gender, gender expression, or gender identity. Employers can also not request that employees provide such information unless it is on a voluntary basis for record keeping purposes.
  • Single-occupancy bathroom facilities under an employer’s control must be labeled with gender neutral terms (such as “unisex”, “gender neutral”, or “all gender restroom”). Employees must be allowed to use the facilities which correspond to their gender identity, not the gender assigned to them at birth.
  • Employees must be allowed to carry out job duties which correspond with their gender expression or gender identity – not the gender assigned to them at birth.

The Press-Enterprise also notes that employers cannot impose any standards of grooming, dress, or appearance which are inconsistent with an employee’s gender identity.  

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According to a recent news article from Society for Human Resource Management, an employee in California has filed a lawsuit against his former employer claiming he was fired for being “too gay.”  He was working in executive management for the company prior to being terminated, according to his complaint.

Employment LawyerIn his complaint, employee claimed his was openly gay when he was hired in 1997.  He worked for the company for 10 years in various management jobs. In 2007, he was given a new job as the manager for diversity and inclusion.  This was not only a new job for him, but a newly created position within the company. Continue reading

In recent months, there has been a lot of worrying among the LGBTQ community about whether they would lose significant rights in the workplace as present Donald J. Trump works to undue the protections given to LGBTQ workers under the previous administration.  Even though Mr. Trump had vowed to leave those protections in place while he was on the campaign trail, he appears to be rolling them back via executive order.

LGBT Discrimination However, according to a recent news article from the New York Times, gay rights advocates have just scored a major victory as the federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does extend its protections to the gay community.  This means that they cannot be harassed based upon sexual orientation, and if they are, it will be considered a violation of federal law. Continue reading

Over the last four years, the number of gender-based discrimination charges filed by individuals for violation of LGBT rights has increased substantially. That’s according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which just released a new report on the issue. holding hands

The data shows that in fiscal year 2016, the EEOC received nearly 1,770 claims of discrimination from LGBT persons, and resolved nearly 1,650 – which are record high numbers in both categories.

Those figures are part of a larger year-end litigation and enforcement data release from last year. Herein, the agency breaks down all the different types of claims it receives and how those claims were resolved. The agency received more than 91,500 charges of workplace discrimination last year – which is the second annual increase in the number of charges. A total of 97,443 claims were resolved (some of those had been filed prior to fiscal year 2016), and a total of $482 million collected for victims of workplace discrimination in both the private and government sectors.  Continue reading