San Diego LGBTQ Discrimination Lawyer

San Diego LGBTQ Discrimination Lawyer

San Diego LGBTQ Discrimination Attorney

Work should be a place where every employee feels safe, supported, and able to do their job. This extends beyond the tools and resources needed to complete any assigned work to also include the environment at work in San Diego, CA. Any mistreatment or actions that make the work environment unsafe or uncomfortable could be considered discrimination. In some cases, unfortunately, employees who are part of the LGBTQ community may find themselves being discriminated against at work simply because of their sexual orientation. If you believe you are a victim of LGBTQ harassment at work, you may be able to take legal action. The team at The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III is ready to assist you.

What Is Discrimination?

There are certain personal characteristics that are protected by law at both the federal and state levels. Individuals cannot be mistreated in their workplace based on any of these protected statuses. Poor treatment that is based on a characteristic you cannot control is considered discrimination. Some of the most well-known protected statuses include:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Disability status
  • Ancestry
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy
  • Veteran status

Any unfair or unequal treatment that occurs in the workplace could be considered discrimination if it is based on prejudice. One type of discrimination that may happen to you at work is LGBTQ discrimination.

LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace

Mistreatment in the workplace is difficult to deal with. It can cause tension at work, harm working relationships, impact your mental and emotional health, and make it nearly impossible for you to do your work. That poor treatment can be even more difficult to face if it is the result of someone else’s prejudice against the LGBTQ community.

Sex is one of the primary statuses protected by law. In terms of workplace discrimination, that category includes several different things beyond your biological sex. Sexual orientation is protected, which means it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you based solely on the fact that you identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, for example. This category also includes gender identity, which means you cannot be mistreated simply because you are male or female. That protection also extends to transgender and non-binary individuals. It can be difficult to identify LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace, so it is important to be familiar with what kinds of behavior are considered discrimination.

Acts of Discrimination

There are many different behaviors and treatments that could be considered discriminatory. In some situations, an individual is intentionally mistreated because they have certain protected characteristics. In other cases, there are policies or rules in place that unintentionally cause problems for those with certain protected characteristics. It is important to understand what kind of discrimination you are facing so you can make the optimal choice moving forward.

  • Disparate Impact Discrimination: This type of discrimination is often not intended to do harm but rather a side-effect of poor planning. Some employers create policies at work that they believe are in the interest of their business, but they actually have a negative impact on some employees because of their protected characteristics. For example, an employer may choose to enforce very specific break times for employees during a shift. This policy could be intended to ensure that there are always enough employees working at a certain time, but it may actually unfairly hurt employees with certain religious needs, like specific times for prayer.
  • Disparate Treatment Discrimination: The other category of discrimination tends to be much more severe and specifically targets or harms an employee because of their protected characteristics. Disparate treatment discrimination includes any actions taken by an employer or supervisor that negatively impact a specific employee. Some of the most common examples of this type of discrimination are cutting hours, unexpected firing, only giving the most difficult jobs to a certain employee, and refusing to give an employee a promotion they earned.

Regardless of the type of discrimination you are facing, whether it is intentionally malicious or simply the result of a bad policy, you may have enough evidence to file a legal claim. If you choose to file a claim, it is important that you understand the steps you need to take.

Filing a Discrimination Claim

The process of filing an LGBTQ discrimination claim can be long and, at times, confusing. There are many steps you must follow to ensure your case is heard by a judge. You must also document all your information correctly and follow a distinct timeline. An experienced San Diego LGBTQ discrimination attorney can help you through the process.

The first steps are especially important to ensure you can file your claim. These steps are:

  1. Inform Your Employer: It is important that the first thing you do before pursuing any sort of legal action is tell your employer that you are experiencing discrimination. This will give them the opportunity to fix the situation and put an end to the discrimination. If nothing is done once they are aware of the situation, then you can move forward with your claim.
  2. File a CRD Complaint: Most legal cases that involve harassment or discrimination are initially handled by the California Civil Rights Department. When you file your initial complaint with the California CRD, they will complete an investigation into your discrimination claims and how your employer responded. If they find that your employer responded properly, then you will not be able to extend your case any further. If, however, they discover that your employer did not respond the right way, then they will give you the documentation you need to move forward.
  3. Get a “Right to Sue” Letter: When the CRD determines that you have a claim, they will give you a document called a “right to sue” letter. This states that your employer responded incorrectly, there is evidence to support your claims of discrimination, and you have permission to move forward with a claim. You will need to collect the evidence that will support your claim, file everything officially, and begin the full legal process.

If you have grounds to pursue an LGBTQ discrimination claim against your employer, then it is important that you have the correct support and guidance to complete the process successfully. An experienced San Diego LGBTQ discrimination attorney from The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III can help.

How a San Diego LGBTQ Discrimination Lawyer Can Help

If you do not have any experience with the California legal system, then it can feel overwhelming to file a complaint as significant as a discrimination claim. There are many steps and processes that must be completed within a specific period of time and within specific parameters. An accomplished San Diego LGBTQ discrimination lawyer will have the education, insights, resources, and guidance to ensure that your claim is completed successfully.

FAQs About San Diego, CA LGBTQ Discrimination Laws

Can You Sue for Discrimination in California?

You are within your rights to sue if you have been the victim of discrimination in California. There are several statuses, including sexual orientation and gender identity, that are protected by state and federal laws. If you believe that an employer, supervisor, or coworker has mistreated you because you are a part of the LGBTQ community, then you will have grounds for a legal claim. An experienced San Diego LGBTQ discrimination attorney can help you navigate your case.

How Do I File a Discrimination Complaint Against an Employer in California?

If you wish to file a discrimination complaint against your employer, you will have to start the process with the California Civil Rights Department first. This department handles most harassment and discrimination cases and will determine whether you are able to proceed with a discrimination claim. You may be able to file a claim without working with the CRD, but this is only advised for individuals working with a harassment attorney because they will be able to file any necessary paperwork.

What Characteristics Are Protected From Workplace Discrimination and Harassment in San Diego, CA?

There are many different characteristics, called protected characteristics, that are legally protected against harassment and discrimination. Many of these statuses are protected at both the state and federal levels of government. Race, gender, religion, sex, disability status, ancestry, age, and sexual orientation are some of the most common legally protected characteristics. If you experience discrimination because of any of these characteristics, you may be able to file a discrimination claim.

What Is the Non-Discrimination Law in San Diego, California?

California has very strong laws that protect employees from mistreatment based on their protected characteristics. Race, sex, gender, religion, and more are all protected from discrimination under the California laws. Employees in California are protected from both disparate treatment and disparate impact discrimination in the workplace. This means that direct actions from an employer and discriminatory policies can both be grounds for a discrimination claim.

Contact The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III

You deserve to feel supported, safe, and successful in your workplace. Discrimination or mistreatment based on your sexual orientation or gender identity should not negatively impact your work environment. If you believe you have been the victim of LGBTQ discrimination in your workplace, then you deserve the support and guidance of an experienced San Diego LGBTQ discrimination attorney. Trust the over forty years of experience at The Law Office of Frank S. Clowney III for any discrimination claim.

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