Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation in California

Sex discrimination has been a sore spot in the US for a long time. Although women are being treated more fairly than before, discrimination based on sexual orientation still occurs on a daily basis, not just in California but throughout the entire United States as well. 

There are many forms of sex discrimination in modern workplaces, and experiencing it as a career-driven, successful worker can completely ruin one’s career. Therefore, certain actions must be taken to ensure that those who have been discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender, or gender expression are protected and compensated. 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces two main laws to protect workers against sexual discrimination:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: This law prohibits employers from treating workers differently (less favorably) based on their sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation). Employers are also prohibited from making employment or financial decisions based on gender stereotypes. 
  • Equal Pay Act: This law requires employers to pay the same wage to male and female employees for the same work. Paying one gender more than the other is prohibited by law. 

Freeburg & Granieri specializes in helping women overcome the numerous issues caused by discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination of the following types:


The definition of ‘sex’ under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also includes pregnancy and pregnancy-related medical conditions. Pregnant employees are entitled to extensive protection under California law. The penalties for employers who do not oblige to the letter of the law can be rigorous and are often enforced. 

You may be entitled to be reinstated to the position you previously left during your leave. After giving birth, you will also be entitled to a space for lactation breaks and obligatory access to a refrigerator. 

Men may also be entitled to certain protections and additional leave following the birth of their child. 


Gender discrimination occurs when an employer decides to pay one gender more than the other for the same type and amount of work. Most commonly, women are the ones who are targeted this way, but it is also not uncommon for men to be discriminated against this way as well. 

This doesn’t only apply to wages, however, as other forms of compensation or benefits can also be unfairly distributed based on one’s gender. There are extensive laws in place that prohibit this, so if you live in California and have experienced gender-based discrimination, contact us for a free consultation on the matter. 

Gender Identity

Employers are prohibited from preventing a transgender person from presenting and dressing according to that person’s gender identity. This includes denying employees equal access to bathrooms, showers, or locker rooms that correspond to the employees’ gender identities. 

If the employer has separate bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms for men and women, all men (including transgender men) must be allowed to use the men’s facilities, and all women (including transgender women) must be allowed to use the women’s facilities. 

Gender Expression

Penalizing employees for expressing their gender in a way that corresponds to their gender identity is against the law. The same applies to employers who discriminate against their employees because of gender-based prejudices and stereotypes. 

There are no rules that dictate who can be the harasser. They can be the same gender as you or different, but no one should experience any form of gender-based or sexual orientation harassment or discrimination. 

Sexual Orientation

If you’re experiencing discrimination based on your sexual orientation in California, you’ve come to the right people. 

The law in California provides certain protections to workers who may experience discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, or a worker’s perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. 

At Freeburg & Granieri, we strive to drive the change that will see workers of all kinds get equal treatment based on their work merit and success, not their sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex. 
If you’ve been wronged by your employer in California, we’d love to have a free consultation with you to determine the best course of action going forward.


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