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Gender and sexual preference protections in California

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2018 | Blog

California is a state that has a lot of protections for individuals who aren’t protected in many other states. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer, or LGTBQ, community is one that enjoys specific protections in this state. It is imperative that anyone who is included in this group, as well as heterosexuals and anyone else who identifies with a specific gender or sexual preference, understands their rights.

When it comes to employment, there isn’t any good reason why companies should discriminate or harass anyone because of these factors. In fact, these behaviors are against the law because sexual preference and gender identity are protected statuses here.

Long history of protections

While it wasn’t until 1992 that the state officially named sexual orientation as a protected status, Los Angeles offered protections much earlier. In 1976, the city became the first in the state to offer this protection for municipal employees. San Francisco followed a couple of years later. In 1979, the governor signed protections for people employed by the state. Since then, great strides have been made but there is much more distance to go to ensure that everyone has equal footing for employment.

Available protections

It isn’t legal for employers in California to bypass someone for employment, terminate current employment, demote, decrease pay or take other adverse employment actions because of a person’s sexual preference. If an employer does take illegal actions, victims have legal recourse to explore. This might enable to them to receive missed wages or reverse the adverse employment action.

Harassment and retaliation are forbidden

On top of ensuring that no discrimination occurs at a business, employers have to keep the workplace free of harassment and retaliation. LGBTQ community members and those who don’t have typical gender identities can’t be harassed at work because of those preferences. This includes harassment from managers, co-workers, patrons, vendors and other people they come across in their work.

If individuals do make complaints about harassment or discrimination, they can’t be retaliated against. There are many different actions that can count as retaliation. Adverse employment actions, snide remarks, putting someone on a less desirable shift and forcing him or her to do the least desirable work are some examples of this.

Legal action can stem from retaliation, harassment or discrimination so keep track of what is going on should you have to make your case.