California LGBT Employee Rights Attorney

You Are No Less Equal

In California, LGBT employees have rights. It is unlawful to discriminate against or harass a person in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), and other protected classes.

  • An employer cannot base a decision to hire, promote, transfer, compensate or terminate an individual based upon gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • An employer cannot change the terms of your employment, in whole or in part, because of your orientation or status.
  • An employer cannot discriminate against you because you have friends or family members who are LGBT.
  • Employers must implement company policies equally. They cannot, however have special rules which apply only to members of the LGBT community such as restrictions on kissing your partner/spouse in the workplace or prohibitions on displaying photographs of your partner/spouse.
  • An employer cannot retaliate against you for opposing unlawful conduct.

If you believe you have been the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, it is important to report this illegal activity to the proper authorities. We recommend that you make a complaint in writing so that your claims are well-documented in case the company fails to act or retaliates against you.

San Francisco Workplace Discrimination Lawyer

For almost 20 years, lead attorney Chris Dolan has been fighting for LGBT employees’ rights in workplace discrimination and harassment cases. He was the 2008 winner of the Ally Award by the Transgender Law Center. He has been chosen as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” by SuperLawyer magazine for five consecutive years. He was selected as the California Consumer Attorney of the Year. He holds an AV-Preeminent in the Martindale-Hubbell peer-review rating process for “highest legal ability” and ethical standards.*

Contact our San Francisco workplace discrimination attorneys to schedule a free consultation. Let us review your case and advise you on the next steps to take.

Reporting Requirements

Many companies have reporting requirements. Look in your company handbook to see if there is a specific procedure for making a complaint. Follow company procedures and document your actions in writing. Failing to report the discriminatory or harassing behavior could cause your case to be denied or could mean you cannot recover certain kinds of damages, like punitive damages.

DFEH Pre-Filing Requirements

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), individuals who have been unlawfully harassed, discriminated against, or retaliated against must file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the date of the occurrence. If you fail to file within one year, you will lose your legal right to sue.

Reporting forms and information about the complaint process can be found at the DFEH website. We will help you file this complaint form as part of our legal services to protect your rights.

Quitting Your Job

The law recognizes that sometimes conditions at work get so bad that employees have no reasonable option except to quit their job. If you want to preserve your potential discrimination or harassment lawsuit, it is important that you do this in the correct manner.

  • You cannot quit your job and sue the company because of one incident. The conditions in the workplace must be of such severity and frequency that a reasonable person would think that they have no alternative than to quit.
  • You should report the conditions to the proper company representative, following the company procedure when possible. Do this before you quit, if possible, or your rights to recover damages may be reduced.

Potential Recovery

You may be able to make a financial recovery for humiliation, anxiety, and emotional distress as well as for back pay and front pay. If the company acted with legal malice (conscious disregard of the rights and safety of an employee), it may also be liable for punitive damages. In cases of unlawful termination, you may also be reinstated to your old position.

Contact a San Francisco LGBT Workplace Discrimination Lawyer

If you, or someone you know has been the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment because you are gay or lesbian, contact a California LGBT employee rights lawyer at The Dolan Law Firm to schedule a free initial consultation.

Our lawyers work on a contingency meaning that you pay no fees or costs upfront. If we obtain a recovery on your behalf, we receive a percentage of any recovery we obtain for you. No recovery, no fee.

*”AV® Preeminent ™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.” Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.