Are gays and lesbians protected under the law against discrimination?
In some states like California, yes. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), all private and public employers in California are prohibited from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against employees for their perceived sexual orientation regardless of whether they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual.
Take for example, a recent case filed by a former police sergeant against the Los Angeles Police District (LAPD). Sgt. Ronald Crump, who worked in LAPD’s Media Relation Section, claimed that he was discriminated against, harassed, and retaliated on during his employment because he is a homosexual.
According to the lawsuit he filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, his supervisor Lt. John Romero repeatedly harassed him. Crump alleged that he was referred to by Romero as “the new Ruby minus the heels” and that he was even told by Romero that “I was a religion major at Liberty University. Jerry Falwell (a conservative televangelist who founded said school) would roll over in his grave if he knew I hired you.”
However, when Crump reported the harassment, Romero told him that, “Don’t forget I hired you even though you’re gay.” In 2009, he elevated his complaint to Police Chief Bill Bratton but it resulted to his transfer to an “undesirable assignment” after his vacation. He further alleged that he was denied promotions because of his complaint.
Right now, the lawsuit has moved into the jury selection phase. Attorneys for the city however are saying that Crump’s transfer had nothing to do with his sexual orientation and that Romero and Mary Grady, who oversaw the unit, knew he was gay. Grady allegedly transferred him because he did not work well with Romero and that the change of his assignment did not affect his rank or pay.
The unfavorable treatment of gay or lesbian employees at work is illegal in California. The rationale behind this is the fact that a person’s sexual orientation does not affect his ability to perform his job. Gays and lesbians in California are protected against employment discrimination and harassment so if you or a loved one have any concerns or questions, call the employment law attorneys of the Mesriani Law Group at their toll free number at 1-866-325-4529 or email them at email@example.com for a free case analysis.