Californians spend a great deal of time at work. When people have a hostile working environment due to discrimination against their sexual orientation or identity, it can make their lives miserable.
Thankfully, people do not need to live with workplace discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation. Under California law, employers are not allowed to participate in this type of discrimination. Furthermore, in July, President Obama, made it illegal for federal employees to suffer from workplace discrimination because of their LGBT status.
Recently, a case involving a transgendered Army contractor has tested this new federal rule. In this case, a transgendered woman claims that she suffered from discrimination while working on an Army base. Despite being born a man, the woman legally obtained a passport, security clearance, driver’s license and name change as a woman in 2010. While at work, the woman apparently was forced to avoid the women’s room, was referred to as “he” by superiors and co-workers and was called by her birth name. The woman also claims that she was given a reduced workload.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel — an independent federal prosecutorial agency — recently announced that the woman’s rights had been violated in the course of her work. Many are calling the case groundbreaking for federal LGBT employees. This case officially recognizes that workplace discrimination based on sexual identity or orientation will not be tolerated at a federal level.
When California employees have suffered from workplace discrimination, they should know that they have legal rights. With the right help, people can make the discrimination stop and may be eligible for compensation as a result of the mistreatment.
Source: AL.com, “Transgender Army employee at Redstone Arsenal wins ‘historic’ discrimination case,” Leada Gore, Oct. 24, 2014