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It is illegal in California for an employer to discriminate on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Schedule a free confidential case evaluation with a LGBTQ discrimination lawyer today.
The Elements of Discrimination
An employee claiming discrimination must prove:
- The employer took an adverse employment action (such as demotion, pay cut, or termination) against the employee.
- The employee’s gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation was a substantial motivating reason for the adverse employment action.
- The employer’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing harm to the employee.
Source: Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions, Instruction No. 2500.
Frequently Asked Questions
An adverse employment action is an action or course or pattern of conduct that, taken as a whole, materially and adversely affected the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. An adverse employment action includes conduct that is reasonably likely to impair a reasonable employee’s job performance or prospects for advancement or promotion. However, minor or trivial actions or conduct that is not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset an employee cannot constitute an adverse employment action.
Source: Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions, Instruction No. 2529
Termination, demotion, pay cut, cut in hours, lateral transfer, paid or unpaid suspension, reduction in retirement benefits/contributions, reduction in benefits, denial of raise or promotion, refusal/failure to hire, refusal/failure to provide training opportunities offered to other employees, reduction in authority and responsibilities, and negative performance reviews.
- Lost wages and benefits
- Emotional distress
- Other economic losses like medical expenses, moving expenses, and job search expenses
- Attorney’s fees
- Punitive damages to punish private employers in extreme cases
Yes. California law was recently updated to protect unpaid volunteers and interns from discrimination and harassment due to race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status.
Source: Government Code section 12940(c) and (j)
Generally speaking, no. However, workers are frequently “misclassified,” meaning that the employer calls them independent contractors when in reality they are actually employees. Therefore, you should not assume you are an independent contract just because your employer claims that you are one. You should speak with an employment lawyer to learn whether you were properly classified.
Medical Whistleblower Retaliation
Fired For Putting Patients Before Profits? Get The Justice You Deserve
Get The Justice You Deserve
Illegally Fired? You deserve justice. Reporting conduct reasonably believed to
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Ortiz Law Office is proud to announce that a client received an award of $1.3 million in attorney’s fees on October 5, 2022 in a whistleblower retaliation case against the
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This website is an advertisement for legal services. The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. An attorney-client relationship does not begin until a formal written contract is signed. If you have legal questions or need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. Nothing contained in this website should be construed as a guarantee or promise of results. Past case results are not indicative of future results and are presented for informational purposes only. The case results presented herein are from cases that Brandon Ortiz had primary day-to-day responsibility for prior to founding Ortiz Law Office, Inc.