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Irvine Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawyer

California law prohibits discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation. This includes both real and perceived sexual orientation. In other words, your employer cannot take any adverse employment action against you because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or even heterosexual–or because your employer thinks that you belong to one of those categories.

Sexual orientation discrimination is a serious matter. If you have faced such discrimination in the workplace, you can and should take legal action. A qualified Irvine sexual orientation discrimination lawyer can review your case and apprise you of your options. At The Garza Firm, we represent many people throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties who have faced unfair and illegal treatment at work based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Understanding What Qualifies as Discrimination in the Workplace

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) defines a number of unlawful employment practices with respect to sexual orientation discrimination. These include:

  • refusing to hire or promote a job applicant because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation;
  • firing, discharging, or disciplining an employee because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation; and
  • basing the terms and conditions of employment on actual or perceived sexual orientation, such as benefits, work duties, and eligibility for employee training programs.

Sexual orientation discrimination in this context also applies to adverse employment decisions based on stereotypes. For example, an employer cannot assign job duties based on a perception that gay or lesbian employees are not suited to certain types of work. An employer must also take proactive measures to ensure that employees are not harassed in the workplace on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Indeed, sexual orientation discrimination is often not overt. Most employers understand they cannot refuse to hire someone who is gay or lesbian. But an employer might tolerate and promote a culture of allowing others to make demeaning jokes or comments about people based on their sexual orientation. Or an employer might retaliate against an employee who files a complaint alleging sexual orientation. Such actions also qualify as illegal discrimination.

Contact The Garza Firm Today

If you have been the victim of possible sexual orientation discrimination, your first step is normally to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). This agency is charged with investigating a wide range of employment discrimination complaints. The DFEH may be able to reach a settlement with your employer or otherwise take legal action. But if the DFEH declines to act, it will issue you a “right to sue” letter, which authorizes you to file your own lawsuit.

Throughout this process, it is always best to work with a skilled Irvine sexual orientation discrimination lawyer who can provide you with independent legal advice and representation. Remember, the sooner that you engage an attorney, the sooner you can begin the process of holding an employer accountable. So if you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible, contact The Garza Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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