SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION

Federal law and most states have various laws that prohibit sex discrimination, including, in many cases, sexual orientation discrimination. Additionally, California law strictly prohibits workplace discrimination based on an employee’s gender identity, biological sex, or sexual orientation. Businesses which violate these laws risk exposing themselves not only to the formal consequences of costly employee lawsuits and civil penalties, but also to the informal consequence of lasting bad publicity as a company which espouses prejudicial beliefs and practices.

boy and girl holding hands in sunset

If a former employee is alleging discrimination on the basis of orientation, sex, or gender, and has filed a lawsuit against your company, it is critical that you approach the matter tactically with support from an experienced employment law attorney. At Bellatrix PC, our knowledgeable legal team has extensive experience defending businesses, and will work with you to prepare a robust defense strategy against claims of employer misconduct.

Don’t allow the problem to escalate by delaying. To set up a confidential legal consultation, call Bellatrix PC at (800) 889-8376 today.

CA Anti-Discrimination Laws: Sex, Gender, and Orientation

People frequently refer to sex discrimination and gender discrimination as if they were interchangeable. In reality, there are key distinctions between these terms which are crucially important for employers to understand.

Sex discrimination refers to acts based on an employee’s biological classification as male or female. By comparison, gender discrimination refers to acts based on an employee’s personal characteristics, such as their manner of speech or way of dressing, as they relate to cultural “gender norms.” Gender discrimination is sometimes referred to as sexual orientation discrimination, and encompasses discriminatory acts based on an employee’s sexual preference.

California is one of 12 states, along with the District of Columbia, which protects employees against discriminatory acts based on sex, gender, and romantic preference. The law specifically protects individuals who identify as heterosexual, homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or transgender against discriminatory conduct.

Under California law, all of the following examples would be strictly prohibited by law:

  • An employer refuses to interview or hire a potential employee because he or she is openly gay.
  • An employer passes over a homosexual male employee for a promotion, even though he is just as qualified for the promotion as another heterosexual employee, solely because he identifies as homosexual. In this situation, the employees’ orientations are the deciding factor in the promotion, instead of their professional qualifications.
  • A male sales manager throws a dinner party at his house for other coworkers, including their spouses. He invites everyone on his sales team, except for a female coworker, because she has a same-sex partner.
  • A male employee is laid off due to wearing female clothing to work, even though he identifies as a woman.

Contact Our Business Defense Attorneys

As anti-discrimination legislation continues to broaden in scope, California-based companies can never be too careful or meticulous when it comes to handling lawsuits. The attorneys of Bellatrix PC will guide you through possible defense scenarios, and present different avenues in which to proceed with the claim. We will work with you to determine whether your organization could benefit more from pursuing a settlement, arbitration, mediation, or if need be, aggressive litigation.

Our experienced employment law lawyers will tenaciously defend you and your organization against employment discrimination claims in both state and federal courts. We want your business to succeed in the long-term, not just today, and will provide you with forward-thinking preventive advice that can help you avoid further claims heading into the future. Regardless of whether your company is large or small, new or well-established, you will benefit from our business risk review service.

Even if you have not been sued, and simply wish to discuss your organization’s current or proposed policies, we encourage you to contact us. Remember, reviewing your procedures today can prevent an expensive lawsuit tomorrow.

To start discussing your company’s situation in a private consultation, call Bellatrix PC right away at (800) 889-8376. Our offices are located in St. Louis, San Diego, and Riverside, CA.

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I have a college degree in English Literature. So you would think that I read a lot of novels. You'd be wrong. Since I graduated, I have mostly read must-read business books and law books. It's not that I'm boring. (Although I may be that.) Rather, I'm extremely...

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