California employees head to their workplaces every day for the purpose of completing their jobs and getting paid. Factors that don’t relate to their job performances should not affect the employees’ work environment. Similarly to discrimination against an employee’s national origin, religion or race, today a person’s sexual orientation is sometimes used as a basis for harassment and discrimination.

As the United States as a whole begins to grant equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals in terms of marriage rights, California has often led the way. While the advance of marriage equality has not yet led to most states prohibiting employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation, in California, sexual harassment based on a person’s sexual orientation is illegal. It is also illegal for an employer to allow or encourage a hostile work environment because of a person’s sexual identity or orientation under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Despite changing views across the United State and employment laws, many GLBT individuals still face sexual harassment at work. These individuals do not have to suffer from this type of treatment. Comments, jokes and harassment of other kinds are not acceptable. Neither is an employer using a person’s sexual orientation as a reason to deny the person a promotion, a raise or the job in the first place.

People who have suffered discrimination or harassment in the workplace because of the person’s sexual orientation should take action. With the help of an attorney, these people may be able to protect their jobs, improve their work situations and attempt to minimize any mistreatment.

The attorneys at Avila & Shaddow are well versed in LGBT issues. We understand California and national employment laws. As federal and state laws change, our attorneys have protected people’s legal rights and helped to get them the treatment they deserve. For more information about the rights of GLBT people in the workplace, please see our GLBT employee rights web