Articles Tagged with California LGBT discrimination

Almost 50 years after the first federal law protecting against LGBTQ discrimination, lawmakers are again faced with a vote that could provide additional protections for the community. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld several protections for LGBTQ people, but as our Los Angeles LGBTQ employment attorneys recognize, federal laws are needed to protect those in a growing number of states passing statutes that restrict LGBTQ rights. As it stands, the current, more conservative, Supreme Court has indicated its desire to bolster protections for religious freedom over LGBTQ worker rights.  LGBT worker rights lawyer

Currently up for consideration is the Equality Act, a wide-sweeping legislation that would bar discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. It has already passed the House of Representatives and if it clears the Senate, will make its way to the desk of President Joe Biden.

The measure is important because, unlike here in California, LGTBQ workers in many other states do not have federal protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces (although an overwhelming percentage of Americans mistakenly believe they do).

But the question is whether the Equality Act has any chance of becoming law. Continue Reading ›

The Los Angeles Police Department was one of the first in the nation actively hiring LGBT law enforcement officers in the late 90s. Yet a recent report by USA Today detailed the ways in which law enforcement officers in California who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender were allegedly discriminated against for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Los Angeles LGBT employment discrimination attorney

In one case, plaintiff, a gay black man, said his fellow officers at the state highway patrol said that not only was the harassment demeaning (tying hangers in the shape of penises around the area of his locker, lobbing homophobic slurs at him, carving his name off an award plaque), it put his life at risk. When he called for backup during tense vehicle impoundments, high-speed stolen car pursuits or investigations into hit-and-run accidents, his fellow officers wouldn’t even respond. This led to a workplace environment that was not only hostile, but dangerous. And it’s been going on for years. Even as a cadet at the state highway patrol, a fellow cadet put a gun to his head, saying he knew he was a homosexual and threatening to pull the trigger.

Plaintiff filed one complaint after another internally. Supervisors, he alleges, did nothing. So three years ago, he sued the California State Highway Patrol for LGBT workplace discrimination. He cited 20 years of  discrimination and harassment. His was one in a wave of lawsuits asserting anti-gay discrimination by law enforcement agents. Many of them describe workplace environments that were abusive and hostile. Some said they were subjected cruel taunts – on top of limitations on career opportunities. Their work standards were starkly different compared to other officers. They were passed over for key promotions. They were denied protection on-the-job. All of it, our LGBT discrimination attorneys understand, came down to their sexual orientation.  Continue Reading ›

A teacher who is gay has filed an employment lawsuit against his former employer, a Roman Catholic high school, which he alleges terminated his employment because he announced his wedding to another man.professional

The LGBT employment discrimination lawsuit alleges the Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina ran afoul of federal employment law in firing him from his substitute teaching position three years ago, following his revelation of his wedding to another man in a Facebook post. The statute doesn’t reference any state law, but it does come amid a bigger fight over a law in that state that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

According to the Associated Press, plaintiff taught full-time English and drama at the school for more than 10 years and even earned the “Teacher of the Year” title back in 2012. Afterward, he transitioned into a less demanding role as a regular substitute teacher, and usually worked more than 12 weeks in a year. Then, in the fall of 2014, he posted details of his upcoming wedding to another man. Several weeks later, seemingly without warning, he was informed by the school’s assistant principal that he was no longer welcome back to continue teaching.  Continue Reading ›

A former employee of President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s golf club in New Jersey is suing the mogul and his company for what he calls “extreme” LGBT harassment and discrimination. golfing

According to The Advocate, plaintiff worked in maintenance at New Jersey’s Trump National Golf Club two years ago. There he alleges his co-workers frequently used highly-offensive, anti-gay slurs against him in both English and Spanish. One of his fellow workers allegedly threw a rock at his head, which resulted in his needing treatment at a local hospital.

The lawsuit was filed in state court specifically alleges sexual orientation harassment, discrimination based on his sexual orientation, hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation. He also filed claims for assault and battery. He asserts his immediate supervisor directly observed his mistreatment, and yet did nothing to intervene. After the rock-throwing incident, plaintiff filed a formal complaint with his managers. At that time, his supervisor assured him the issue would be “dealt with.” However, when plaintiff went back to the manager to get further information for a police report he planned to file against his attacker, the manager refused to cooperate. Plaintiff then informed the manger he did not feel physically safe going to work after he was attacked by a co-worker, at which point he was promptly fired.  Continue Reading ›

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has found that sexual orientation is not a protected class under Title VII, which means it’s now in the hands of Congress to take action to change existing law if LGBTQ employees are going to be allowed the right to sue. The other alternative would be for the U.S. Supreme Court to take on this case or one similar and decide differently. sadness

In the Indian case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, the court noted that this was not the first time it had been asked to consider whether Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shields workers and provides an avenue for dispute resolution (usually stemming from claims of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community). However, the court noted that in this case, the court was deciding the matter “in the shadow of criticism from the EEOC,” which alleged the 7th Circuit and others have continued to reflexively declare sexual orientation is not protected under Title VII/

The court noted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had questioned the court’s acceptance of cases born of gender non-conformity discrimination, even as it rejected sexual orientation discrimination cases. Even in the face of this criticism, however, the federal appeals court held once again that because the claim was solely for discrimination based on sexual orientation, it was beyond the scope of the statute.  Continue Reading ›

A recent news article from the International Business Times points out that smokers in Kentucky are protected under state law from employment discrimination, while members of the LGBT community do not have any such protection.

rainbow-flag-1144037In the wake of the sweeping victory for proponents of gay marriage after the landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court, many were hoping to follow with growing public support for gay rights and end employment discrimination against the LGBT community across the county.  Continue Reading ›

There has been a lot of progress in the last few years in reaching equality for members of the LGBT community. There was the overturning of the Don’t ask Don’t Tell military regulations, the National Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and now the Supreme Court has decided that no state can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. As we have all seen with the situation involving Kim Davis, federal judges would not allow a clerk of court to continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based upon religious reasons.

rainbow-flag-1392509-mHowever, one area where there still is yet to be equality involves LGBT employees in the workplace. There is still no federal law against discriminating against LGBT community members in terms of employment. Continue Reading ›

With the Supreme Court recently declaring that marriage is a constitutionally protected right, and that same-sex couples have a right to marry in every state in the Union, it would be easy for people think that gay rights organizations have won and there is nothing left to fight for of equal urgency and importance. While this was a huge victory for supporters of gay marriage, it is not the only area in which same-sex couples and members of the gay community were subject to discrimination.

rainbow-flag-1392509-mEmployment is one area where there is still a great deal of discrimination against gay employees and gay job applicants, and, according to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, many LGBT activists have already begun gearing up for the next big challenge of fighting discrimination in the workplace. Continue Reading ›

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. Continue Reading ›

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of brave GLBT individuals and advocacy organizations, gay and lesbian individuals are finally being granted a greater degree of respect. While some places, including many areas in California, are more accepting of this community than others, there is still a long way to go in the fight for equal rights for all people.

rainbow-flag-1392509-mUnfortunately, people who identify as transgender individuals often have a bigger fight ahead of them in terms of equal treatment and respect from the mainstream community. Perhaps things will change with more people willing to speak out and the media paying attention to their struggle. Perhaps the notoriety given to Olympic athlete and television personality Bruce Jenner will further the cause. Continue Reading ›

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