San Francisco Sexual Orientation Discrimination Attorney
Pursuing Equality and Civil Rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Employees
Rukin Hyland & Riggin LLP represent employees who have been subjected to discrimination at work based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. We seek to enforce California’s anti-discrimination laws and recover damages for workers who have been harmed by sexual orientation harassment or discrimination. For example, we successfully advocated and obtained medical insurance coverage for an employee’s same-sex spouse, who was previously denied insurance benefits because the company refused to recognize same-sex marriages.
There are currently no federal laws protecting LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in the workplace based on their sexual orientation. However, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employment discrimination because of sexual orientation. In California, it is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of assumptions about sexual orientation. For example, it would be illegal for an employer to fire an employee because the employer believes that the employee is gay, regardless of whether that belief is correct.
What is Sexual Orientation Discrimination?
Employment discrimination based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be obvious or subtle — but each case must involve an adverse employment action taken because the employee was gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, or transgender.
Examples of discriminatory adverse actions by an employer might include:
- Failing to hire, withdrawing a job offer, or firing an individual because he or she is involved in a same-sex relationship
- Failing to promote an employee because of his or her sexual orientation
- Promoting less-qualified employees who are not gay or lesbian
- Paying an LGBT employee less than other employees performing the same type of work
In addition to prohibiting employers from taking an adverse action against an employee based on sexual orientation, California law also protects employees from workplace harassment, such as threats, abusive behavior or repeated, offensive jokes related to their sexual orientation.
Anti-Gay Bias Based on Appearance or Perceptions
In California, it is also illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of assumptions about sexual orientation. For example, it would be illegal for an employer to fire an employee because he or she thinks or believes that the employee is gay — whether or not the employee is homosexual.
Contact Our Firm
Contact our discrimination attorneys today to set up a free consultation. California law prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. If you believe this happened to you, you may have a case.