Sexual orientation does not determine whether workplace sexual harassment is illegal. The touching of an employee’s buttocks, genitals, or breasts is both sexual battery and sexual harassment regardless of the sexual orientation of the person being sexually harassed, or the person engaging in the sexual harassment. Our attorneys have succeeded in workplace sexual harassment perpetrated by gay people against gay people, straight people against gay people, straight people against gay people, and curious bisexuals obsessed with sexually harassing a gay person. Physical sexual harassment includes the unwanted touching of body parts. Blocking motions may also constitute sexual harassment. Harassers that cause the victim to believe they will be touched engage in assault which is a form of sexual harassment.
Verbal sexual harassment involves invitations, or requests for sex. Persistent compliments about one’s clothing, or how they look in the clothing may constitute sexual harassment. Questions about one’s sexual preferences and what type of sexual experiences they enjoy is sexual harassment. The sending of naked pictures, or requests for inappropriate pictures is sexual harassment.
Verbal sexual harassment occurs by conversation. Text messages which are sexually oriented can also be sexual harassment. Besides text messages, written sexual harassment involves letters and emails. Unwanted love notes and streams of un-responded to text messages have won the day in several of our sexual lawsuits.
Repeatedly asking somebody on a date is sexual harassment
if the person has indicated they are not interested.
When sexual requests are tied to work treatment, raises, promotions, or the ability to remain employed that is called quid pro quo sexual harassment. Generally quid pro quo sexual harassment is done by a person in charge such as a supervisor or manager. Our sexual harassment lawyers have held many companies liable for sexual harassment of leads if they have the ability to direct or assign work.
It is unlawful to terminate an employee because of their sexual orientation. It is also illegal to fire an employee because they have opposed sexual harassment in the workplace. If you suspect you were fired because of your sexual orientation, or because you are transgender the next step is to contact a wrongful termination lawyer to determine if your case can be proven. Sometimes it is easy to prove an employee was fired due to their sexual orientation because the employer is direct and indicates sexual orientation is why the job termination occurred. Some situations are subtle but obvious. For example, more than 20 years ago firm founder Karl Gerber represented a transgender woman who was fired almost immediately after the business owners saw her go into the women’s bathroom and objected.
CALL 310-842-8600 to run your situation by our employee law firm in order to see if we think we can prove you were fired due to your sexual orientation.
Examples of cases in which we have proven the termination was due to sexual orientation include:
- A high level manager came from out of state to meet with the employee. The manager presumably knew the employee was gay for years, but decided to fire him when he mentioned there had been mornings as of late he did not feel well due to medication he took for HIV. The manager was unaware of the employee’s HIV status until that encounter - A straight head of a non-profit fired a lesbian after he realized she would not have sex with him - A transsexual manager used the women’s bathroom, the owners discussed it, and lady was fired - A gay man complained about gay bashing by coworkers and was eventually fired when he got mad at human resources for refusing to provide him with a work environment free of sexual orientation harassment
Proving that any employment termination is connected to a protected right, or is done due to whistleblowing is no easy task. It is essential any employee contemplating suing because they were fired for a reason that may be illegal consult with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer. When an employee asserts they were fired for being gay it is also important the hired employment lawyer have particular experience proving job terminations are connected to sexual orientation. While many fact patterns may include suspicions whether a lawyer can prove your case is a matter left to an experienced sexual orientation lawyer.
It is illegal to discriminate, terminate, or harass an employee because they are transgender. The same laws apply in the same fashion to illegal treatment due to being transgender, cross dressing, or sexual identity as apply to gay sexual harassment, or job terminations due to being gay. Transgender employees can sue for sexual harassment for conduct done by persons of any sexual orientation. They can also sue for wrongful termination if they are fired, or forced to quit due to their transgender status, or gender identification. Recently we have seen several cases in which transgender women are sexually harassed by straight men. These sexual harassment cases should be prosecuted. We have reviewed numerous cases in which transgender people are fired due to their transgender status. Some of these situations occur when an employer realizes the employee is undergoing a reassignment, or the person already has. Difficulties in proving transgender discrimination or wrongful termination exists when the manager who made the termination decision knew of the employee’s transgender status for years and was comfortable. Unless a new manager enters the mix who is not comfortable it is difficult, or often illogical to prove somebody all of the sudden does not want an employee in the workplace due to a protected characteristic they have been accepting of for years. We look forwarding to hearing about any improper workplace treatment due to sexual orientation, or sexual status. Please be open in describing your situation. Our employee lawyers have represented persons with alternative lifestyles for many years and hope to be of service.