Sexual Orientation Discrimination California
by Matthew A. Kaufman
The Kaufman Law Firm
Los Angeles Office:
Toll Free: 888-990-4659
What is Sexual Orientation?
California discrimination law specifically protects heterosexuals, homosexuals (gays and lesbians), and bisexuals from sexual orientation discrimination. It further protects transsexuals and transgender persons from gender discrimination. Transsexuals and transgender persons are those who by their identity, appearance, and/or behavior appear to be of a different sex (meaning, male or female) or gender than at birth.
Federal and state laws differ on whether an employer may discriminate against employees or job applicants because of their sexual orientation or gender, but in California, the gender discrimination law is clear that it cannot be done.
What is Gender Discrimination?
In another California case, a man who was openly gay worked as a butler for MGM Grand Hotel. Because co-workers repeatedly grabbed him from behind, touched his body, grabbed his genitals, taunted him by calling him feminine names and endearments, and ridiculed him for walking in a feminine manner, the California Ninth Circuit held that the man had a sexual harassment claim and may also have sufficient gender discrimination claim, as well.
What are some examples of gender discrimination in the workplace?
A woman who is fired for "failing to act like a woman" has a right to bring a sexual discrimination claim.
Similarly, a man who is fired for "acting too feminine" has a right to bring a claim.
Employees who are subject to unlawful termination and harassment may be liable to recover the following:
• Past lost wages and other benefits
• Future lost wages and other benefits
• General damages, including emotional distress and pain and suffering
• Punitive damages
• Lawyer's fees
• Injunctive relief