Federal laws strictly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace. Although it is illegal to do so, LGBTQ+ employees still face many forms of discrimination in the workplace. For this reason, many members of the LGBTQ+ community feel insecure at work, suffer humiliating insults, and are even denied the possibility of a promotion.
Here in California, there are specific LGBTQ+ employment rights you should know about in case you face this type of discrimination.
- The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act (Title VII) protect employees from being fired, denied a job or promotion, harassed, and discriminated against due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
- In a job interview, your employer cannot ask you about your gender identity or sexual orientation. You also do not need to disclose your gender in a job application.
- You have the right to use the restroom that coincides with your gender identity. Your employer cannot to force you to use a bathroom where you feel uncomfortable.
- You are protected at work if you decide to come out or go through a gender transition. Your employer cannot mistreat you or discriminate against you for your right to live your life authentically.
- It is considered harassment if your employer knowingly addresses you by the wrong name and pronouns. Even if you have not yet legally changed your name or gender marker, if you have clearly stated to your employer your pronoun and name preference, and they choose not to respect it, it is harassment.
- Your employer cannot counterattack or retaliate against you for reporting or addressing the discrimination or harassment. It is illegal for an employer to do so, as it is in your right to report any sort of discrimination and/or harassment you face.
If you feel that you are being treated unjustly, it is crucial to contact a lawyer with experience representing clients in these types of situations. Our dedicated team at Aiman-Smith & Marcy will help you hold those responsible accountable.