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California and sexual orientation discrimination at work

If you're a homosexual worker living and working in the state of California, you're in luck. Our state is one of the ones that offers protections to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community from workplace discrimination. This is important because, under federal law, homosexuals cannot receive any workplace protections relating to discrimination on the basis of their sexual preferences. Furthermore, there are many states across the nation that offer no such protections to workers.

It's hard to believe that federal law protects you from workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, religion, age, national origin, race, sex and disability, but not on the basis of homosexuality. That is, not unless you work for the federal government. Federal employees do receive protection from sexual orientation discrimination, and – if they are subjected to such discrimination – they can file a formal complaint in court, even if they don't live and work in California.

Here's what sexual orientation discrimination might look like. If you've been subjected to this kind of abuse in California, you might want to take action to stop it immediately:

  • Name calling
  • Termination
  • Requests for dates
  • Loss of opportunities for promotion
  • Lower wages
  • Lost shifts
  • Any kind of unfair or differential treatment
  • Baseless write-ups
  • Inappropriate comments

If you've had to endure workplace discrimination because of your sexual orientation, you can put your foot down and make it stop by lodging a formal complaint with your employer. If your employer doesn't act on the complaint or retaliates against you because of the complaint – by demoting or firing you – you may want to take more formal legal measures.

Source: Findlaw, "Sexual Orientation Discrimination," accessed June 08, 2018

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