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Can workers be discriminated against for sexual orientation?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2019 | Employment Discrimination, Firm News |

When you’ve read over a job vacancy or application before, you’ve likely seen a listing of different classes of people that are protected from discrimination under federal laws. They strictly prohibit a worker from being treated differently from others solely based on their age, race, national origin, disability or pregnancy status or religion. Sexual orientation isn’t included on this list though.

Even though sexual orientation isn’t a protected class recognized by the federal government, workers who are harassed or denied advancement opportunities in the workplace because of this still have rights. California and at least half of all the other states in the country have laws on the books that prohibit discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation.

It’s likely that there are local city and county ordinances or regulations that exist that your employer has to abide by as well. If they don’t, then the company that you work for may have their own in-house workplace discrimination policies. These may strengthen both local and state laws that are already on the books.

Company policies forbidding discrimination against an employee based on their sexual orientation will often be described alongside a description of the consequences for violating those rules. These policies often dictate that any discriminatory action that has been taken against an employee should be reversed. They also describe how a supervisor who acted unlawfully should be fired.

If your employer has violated their existing policies, then you should consult with your company’s human resources department. If they’ve failed to take the appropriate action or their actions have violated the law, then an employment discrimination attorney may advise you of your right to file suit against your Sherman Oaks employer.