LGBT Issues

Emphasis Belongs on Ability, Not Sexual Orientation

As with many discrimination issues, employers should be concerned with whether someone can perform the job, not what the person's sexual orientation may be. As LGBT issues have become more visible in society, LGBT issues have also become more visible at work.

Sexual orientation — lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender — has nothing to do with the ability or inability to perform a job. At the Girardi | Keese law firm, our lawyers represent people who have been denied a job, a promotion or a raise based on LGBT discrimination.

The perception of being gay hurt an officer's chance of promotion.

Our employment law attorneys represented a police officer who rose to a certain level and then was not promoted again. He did well on the written and oral tests for promotion. His yearly evaluations were good. But he suffered from a persistent rumor that he was gay. Other people in the department made disparaging remarks about his supposed sexual orientation. His promotion evaluations showed a pattern of discrimination based upon his perceived sexual orientation.

While society was becoming less concerned with sexual orientation, our attorneys showed that LGBT discrimination was still entrenched in the police department. The jury agreed and ultimately the officer got the promotion he had earned.

There are some workplaces less willing to accept LGBT employees.

Many organizations — especially police and fire departments — tend to be socially conservative and less willing to accept those perceived to be 'different' in their sexual orientation. Discrimination is present even at high levels in the organizations.

Those who testify on behalf of gays and lesbians can also face retaliation. LGBT people may also be subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

At the Girardi | Keese law firm, we are firmly on the side of fairness in the workplace.

If you would like to discuss a GLBT discrimination issue in the workplace, contact us. We represent clients in California and nationwide.