Despite the fact that thousands upon thousands of employment law complaints are filed in California and throughout the country every year, only a percentage of cases actually go to court. In order for workplace discrimination claims to be heard in court they must meet guidelines identifying an incident of illegal bias, and proving that someone’s experience falls under such guidelines can be difficult. One recent case illustrates how sexual orientation discrimination can fall under gender discrimination policies in some instances.
To date, state and federal antidiscrimination laws do not officially recognize discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, rights groups and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have attempted to have sexual orientation recognized as a protected class under gender discrimination laws. And while many plaintiffs have been unsuccessful in bringing their sexual orientation discrimination complaints to court, some have succeeded.