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
According 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. The plaintiff has alleged that she was subject to incredible discrimination and harassment on the job due to her being a transgender woman. She was working at a local car dealership, and alleged that while at work, her manager would ask her to take her top off and would ask her questions about her breasts. She also alleged the manager forced her into his private restroom and tried to grope her and even tried to force her to give him oral sex. This and other types of sexual harassment occurred on a daily basis according to the allegations in the complaint.
She further alleged that she often raised her concerns about these issues to higher-level management, but every time she did, her supervisor would only increase the harassment and blame it on her making complaints to management. As our Orange County LGBT employment discrimination lawyers can explain, the law in California is more protective of the rights of LGBT employees than it is in many less progressive jurisdictions around the country. However, despite these strong protections, there is still a long way to go both in terms of the law and employer behavior.
While it is hard to image in 2017, an employer would not take immediate action to protect themselves from liability if they learned of such behavior to a woman who is not transgender, if these allegations are true, it would seem that we still have a long way to go before transgender employees and all LGBT workers are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
In this case, the plaintiff was hired before she openly began her transition, and once she did, she was allegedly told that she had “change back” if she wanted to be treated as any other employee. This is type of alleged harassment would make any reasonable person in her circumstances unable to work at this job, and as she further alleged, it caused her to suffer physical and emotional harm. This type of conduct is treated under the law the same as firing a person because of their sexual orientation or being transgendered. The reason this is being treated as a landmark case is because, while it is easy to see how a reasonable person could not stand this treatment, we will need to see how a reasonable jury will react should the case go to trial. There are however, many ways a case will not make it to trial such as by reaching or a settlement or upon the granting of a motion for summary judgement file pursuant to Rule 3.1350 of the California Rules of Court.
It should be noted that the defendant has not admitted to any of these allegations as of this time article and is not liable unless and until a judge or jury finds them liable by a preponderance of the evidence as that is the standard of proof of a civil employment discrimination cases in Orange County.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.
A Case of Horrific Transgender Employment Discrimination Orange County California, November 2017, By Mike Spradley, Huffington Post
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