LGBTQ Discrimination

Discrimination against employees who are LGBTQ+ in the workplace is a serious issue in the United States. Not only does it bring down employee morale, but it also affects employees’ mental health. There are several different types of policies and laws, on the federal level, and implemented in California and Nevada to protect individuals from such discrimination.

LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Lawyers

Our LGBTQ+ employment discrimination attorneys are dedicated to representing and protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning individuals in the workplace. We understand the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, especially when confronted with discrimination from employers or colleagues.

If you or a loved one believes you have been subjected to workplace discrimination, contact our LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination attorneys. You may be entitled to file a lawsuit against your employer for the discrimination you have endured.

Our skilled and dedicated LGBTQ discrimination attorneys are well-versed in the various forms of workplace discrimination, including:

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation:

  • Unfair treatment due to an individual’s sexual orientation.

Discrimination Based on Transgender Status:

  • Discrimination faced by transgender individuals in the workplace.

Discrimination Based on HIV and AIDS Status:

  • Prejudice and unfair treatment due to an individual’s HIV or AIDS status.

Discrimination Based on Gender Expression and Identity:

  • Unfair treatment based on how an individual expresses their gender or their gender identity.

In addition to discrimination, the LGBTQ+ community often faces harassment and retaliation in the workplace. One prevalent issue is the denial of Family and Medical Leave, which is a right for all employees. Our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ employees who have experienced these injustices.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and let our experienced team help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for LGBTQ employees who have experienced unfair treatment at work.

LGBTQ Community Statistics

The LGBTQ+ community continues to face significant challenges and discrimination across various aspects of life. Here are some key statistics on the LGBTQ+ community highlighting the struggles faced by LGBTQ+ individuals:

Widespread Discrimination:

  • According to the Center for American Progress, 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ Americans has experienced discrimination.

Transgender Discrimination:

  • 3 in 5 transgender Americans report having faced discrimination in their daily lives.

Healthcare Discrimination:

  • 15% of LGBTQ+ Americans have postponed medical procedures or treatments due to discrimination they encountered in healthcare settings.

Nevada’s LGBTQ+ Population:

  • 5% of adults in Nevada identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

California’s LGBTQ+ Population:

  • Approximately 4.5% of adults in California identify as LGBTQ+, reflecting a significant and vibrant community within the state.

Workplace Harassment:

  • Nearly 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ employees have left a job because the environment was unwelcoming.

Mental Health Impact:

  • LGBTQ+ individuals are more than twice as likely to experience mental health issues, with 31% reporting mental health concerns compared to 17% of the general population.

Youth Experiences:

  • LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their non-LGBTQ+ peers due to bullying and lack of support.

Economic Inequality:

  • LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to live in poverty, with 21.6% of LGBTQ+ people living below the poverty line compared to 15.7% of non-LGBTQ+ people.

Family Rejection:

  • 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+, often due to family rejection based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Understanding these statistics underscores the importance of advocating for the rights and protections of the LGBTQ+ community. Our dedicated attorneys are here to support and fight for those who face discrimination and injustice.

LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination Examples

Members of the LGBTQ+ community often face various forms of discrimination in the workplace. This list provides examples but is not exhaustive.

  • Unjust Termination: Firing an employee solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Pay Discrimination: Paying LGBTQ+ employees less than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts for the same work.
  • Benefit Discrimination: Offering fewer or less comprehensive benefits to LGBTQ+ employees compared to other employees.
  • Rescinding Job Offers: Withdrawing a job offer upon discovering that the candidate is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Exclusion from Business Activities: Excluding LGBTQ+ employees from business lunches, meetings, or other work-related social activities.
  • Discrimination During Gender Transition: Reducing hours or terminating employment for individuals undergoing a gender transition.
  • Unfair Promotions: Promoting less qualified non-LGBTQ+ employees over more qualified LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Hostile Work Environment: Allowing or ignoring harassment or derogatory remarks towards LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Discriminatory Job Assignments: Assigning less desirable tasks or limiting job responsibilities based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Unfair Performance Reviews: Giving biased or unfair performance evaluations due to an employee’s LGBTQ+ status.
  • Lack of Support for LGBTQ+ Issues: Failing to provide support or accommodations for issues uniquely affecting LGBTQ+ employees, such as medical leave for gender-affirming surgery.

These examples illustrate the various challenges that LGBTQ+ individuals may encounter in the workplace. Our dedicated attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ employees and ensuring they receive fair and equal treatment.

LGBTQ Workplace Harassment Examples

Examples of LGBTQ+ Workplace Harassment

LGBTQ+ individuals often face harassment in the workplace that can create a hostile and uncomfortable environment. Here are some examples:

  • Offensive Comments: Making derogatory or insulting remarks about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Unwanted and Inappropriate Touching: Physical contact that is unwelcome and inappropriate, such as touching, hugging, or groping.
  • Inappropriate Jokes: Telling jokes or making comments that demean or ridicule LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Name-Calling: Using slurs or offensive nicknames based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Mockery: Ridiculing or making fun of LGBTQ+ employees, often in a public or humiliating manner.
  • Sexual Orientation Stereotyping: Assuming or suggesting that someone’s behavior, interests, or abilities are defined by their sexual orientation.
  • Gender Identity Stereotyping: Imposing or enforcing traditional gender roles or expectations on someone based on their gender identity.
  • Exclusion from Team Activities: Deliberately leaving LGBTQ+ employees out of team meetings, social events, or collaborative projects.
  • Displaying Offensive Material: Posting or sharing offensive materials, such as images or messages, that target LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Verbal Abuse: Shouting, swearing, or using abusive language directed at LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Cyberbullying: Harassing LGBTQ+ employees through emails, social media, or other digital platforms.
  • Intimidation: Using threats or coercive tactics to create fear or pressure LGBTQ+ employees.
  • Retaliation for Complaints: Punishing or ostracizing LGBTQ+ employees who report harassment or discrimination.
  • Deliberate Misgendering: Intentionally using the wrong pronouns or names for transgender and non-binary individuals.
  • Isolation: Assigning LGBTQ+ employees to remote locations or isolating them from their colleagues.
  • Hostile Work Environment: Creating or allowing an overall hostile environment that makes it difficult for LGBTQ+ employees to work comfortably.

Addressing these issues is crucial for fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace. Our committed attorneys are here to support LGBTQ+ employees in standing up against harassment and ensuring their rights are protected.

Federal and State Anti-Discrimination Laws

Several significant state and federal laws protect LGBTQ+ employees from workplace discrimination and harassment. Here are some key examples:

  • California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): Protects employees in California from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Prohibits employment discrimination nationwide based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Recent interpretations include protections for LGBTQ+ individuals under the category of sex discrimination.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972: While primarily focused on preventing sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities, Title IX also extends protections against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in federally funded institutions.
  • California Department of Managed Health Care Regulations: Ensures that health plans in California do not discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, providing necessary healthcare protections for LGBTQ+ employees.
  • California Gender Nondiscrimination Act: Expands protections under California law to include gender identity and expression, ensuring comprehensive coverage against discrimination.
  • Bostock v. Clayton County (2020): A landmark Supreme Court decision that affirmed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Equality Act (Proposed): A federal bill aimed at providing explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in various areas, including employment, housing, and public accommodations.
  • Local Ordinances: Many cities and counties have enacted additional protections to safeguard LGBTQ+ employees against workplace discrimination and harassment.

These laws and regulations form a robust framework to protect LGBTQ+ employees’ rights and promote inclusive, respectful workplaces. If you believe your rights have been violated, our experienced attorneys can help you understand these laws and seek justice.

Common LGBTQ+ Questions

Do I Have a Legal Claim if My Employer Harasses Me at Work?

Harassment is not tolerated under any California law. California laws explicitly outlaw any type of harassment, especially LGBTQ discrimination harassment. Harassment is considered a form of discrimination and is intended to frighten or intimidate the employee. An employee has a claim for discrimination if they face any type of harassment at work. 

If you have been harassed at work for being part of the LGBTQ community, make sure that you document everything. For example, if your employee sends you discriminatory emails, make sure that you save them. 

Am I Protected if I Transition While Working?

California laws permit an employee to take off time from work for transgender transition medical surgeries. Further, employees do have a right to tell their employers about their transition. An employer cannot retaliate by firing the employee after hearing about the news of the transition. 

What if My Employer Addresses Me by the Wrong Gender Pronoun?

When an employer addresses an employee with the wrong gender pronoun, California laws advise that the employee notify the employer immediately regarding how they want to be addressed. If the employer still continues to address the employee incorrectly on purpose, the employee will have a valid claim for discrimination against the employer.

Could I Use the Restroom That Best Aligns with My Gender Identity?

An employer cannot reject an employee from using a specific gender restroom. An employee has the right to use whatever restroom they closely align with.

Could a Potential Employer Ask About My Gender Identity During a Job Interview?

California laws forbid employers from asking potential interview applicants about their gender identity and their gender status. This includes direct or indirect questions. Gender identity cannot be made a condition of the employment position. California is an at-will employment state, meaning that an employee cannot let go of an employee without a valid reason. 

Do I have to file a complaint with the Human Resources Department before filing a lawsuit?

We advise our clients to contact their human resources department to report any LGBTQ discrimination they have experienced at work prior to filing a lawsuit. If LGBTQ discrimination persists, we advise filing a lawsuit against the other party. Filing an internal HR complaint allows the plaintiff to have documented records of putting the employer on notice.

What type of compensation could I recover from an LGBTQ discrimination lawsuit?

Below are some examples of damages you could receive if you have become a victim of LGBTQ discrimination at work:

  • Lost wages 
  • Lost benefits
  • Reinstated at work (very rare)
  • Lost Pension benefits
  • Loss of bonus payments
  • Emotional distress from the discrimination
  • Future lost wages

What Do Our LGBTQ Discrimination Attorneys Do?

  1. Make sure our clients understand their legal rights under local, state, and federal anti-discrimination laws. Many clients that we have assisted did not even know that they face discrimination at work, or that they could file a lawsuit about it. 
  2. Investigate your claims to make sure that we have a strong case in your favor.
  3. Prepare all the necessary documents that should be filed with the court. There are several different types of complaints that should be filed within a specific period of time.
  4. Negotiate with employers to reach a settlement agreement that will compensate you for your damages.
  5. In the event that your case goes to trial, our attorneys will represent you.

Contact an Experienced LGBTQ Discrimination Attorney Today

If you or a loved one believe you have been discriminated against because you are part of the LGBTQ community, it is important to immediately seek legal assistance to determine the merits of your claim. Our attorneys at Heidari Law will work to ensure the maximum compensation for your injuries.  

We work tirelessly to make sure that employers are held accountable for their actions. Whether you have been denied pay, or benefits, or have had a change in attitude from your employer, you deserve to have your rights represented. Give us a call today to discuss your best options. 

In a discrimination case, you could file a complaint with the government agency, file a complaint at the workplace, or file a civil lawsuit against the other party. This depends on the circumstances of the discrimination. To better assist you, book a consultation today.

Contact our discrimination attorneys today if you believe that your sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity has been used against you at work. During our free consultation, we can determine how we could help your LGBTQ workplace claim. We understand how difficult it may be to experience discrimination in the workplace. We are here to help.