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What You Don't Know About Sexual Orientation Harassment

As Californians, we are fortunate to live among a diverse and generally open-minded population. We are a progressive state, and we often lead the way when it comes to protecting civil rights and preventing inequality.

While many companies throughout the country have instated LGBT-friendly policies, that doesn't mean they are always upheld or understood in their entirety. Here is some clarification on a couple of the often misunderstood points.

It's not only about preventing harassment

While putting a stop to any sort of harassment is definitely an important aspect, it's not limited to that. While harassment may oftentimes be the easiest form of discrimination to identify, there are other ways you may be discriminated against in the workplace.

  • Do you feel you have been overlooked for promotions?
  • Have you received frequent disciplinary actions for reasons that aren't clear to you?
  • Did you speak up against previous harassment only to now be treated hostilely because you spoke up?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you may be encountering discrimination based on your sexual orientation. Of course, it's important to have all of the facts to determine the motivations of your employer. In some situations, they could be truly unrelated. If you work with an experienced employment law attorney, he or she can help investigate the situation.

It's not limited to employees

Not only can your employer be held accountable for the actions of its employees, but your employer can also be held accountable for nonemployees, such vendors or visitors. If you've been the victim of harassment by others onsite, your employer is still obligated to step in and protect you. Any sort of discrimination that is not addressed by your employer is against the law.

While fair treatment in the workplace has improved for the LGBT community, it's not enough for the situation to just be "better." You deserve to feel safe and equal when you are at work.

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