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Sexual orientation discrimination and harassment are prohibited under California law. Even so, this type of discrimination and harassment, along with sex discrimination and gender identity discrimination, routinely occurs in the workplace and causes great harm to victims of it. If you were harassed or mistreated on the job due to being gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, or heterosexual, you may have a basis to sue for damages. At the Nourmand Law Firm, our Los Angeles sexual orientation discrimination lawyers may be able to represent you in a lawsuit.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Harassment
When you come to work, you should be judged on your work performance, rather than your sexual orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination on the job happens if an employee is treated adversely based solely on his or her real sexual orientation, or a perceived one.
Your sexual orientation refers to whether you are bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual, whereas your gender identity refers to the gender with which you identify, whether male or female, regardless of the anatomical sex assigned at birth. Both of these are illegal under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which is the state law that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination or harassment on the job. Neither is explicitly illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, but some case law supports an interpretation that sex discrimination under Title VII encompasses sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination.
Generally, there is more protection for more employees under FEHA, which applies to public and private employers with at least five employees, as well as employment agencies and labor organizations. Title VII protects people who work for employers with at least 15 employees. A sexual orientation discrimination attorney can advise Los Angeles employees on whether either or both of these laws may apply.
It is understandable to be concerned about bringing a sexual orientation discrimination or harassment claim. However, it is also illegal under FEHA for your employer to retaliate against you for engaging in the protected activity of protesting against the discrimination or harassment. You are also protected against retaliation if you assist someone who is being subjected to discrimination on this basis, or if you assist investigators of the discrimination or harassment.
You can file a lawsuit against your employer to recover damages arising out of discrimination and harassment. Generally, to sue under FEHA, you will need to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing before suing in civil court. The DFEH can conduct an investigation and issue a right to sue notice. While you can technically ask for an immediate right to sue notice before the investigation, you should consult a Los Angeles sexual orientation discrimination attorney before doing so.
If you successfully establish liability for sexual orientation discrimination or harassment under FEHA, you should be able to recover the following types of damages: back pay, front pay, benefits, pension benefits, lost bonuses, the higher income that would have come from a promotion or raise, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. You may also be able to obtain punitive damages. These are damages that are awarded to punish a wrongdoer’s behavior and also deter future similar actions. In some cases, it is technically possible to be reinstated after being terminated from a job due to sexual orientation discrimination. The court is empowered to order this, but in most cases, sexual orientation discrimination or harassment causes serious harm to a working relationship, and it is not productive to continue with that relationship.
Seek Assistance from a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles
It is challenging to experience sexual orientation discrimination or harassment in the workplace. You do not need to suffer in silence. If you have faced sexual orientation discrimination or harassment, the Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you in a lawsuit to recover damages. We strive to provide aggressive legal representation to employees who have been harmed in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and other cities in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form.