While California has realized more rights for homosexual couples with the Supreme Court decision regarding Proposition 8, there is still no federal law that protects workers from workplace discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. There are 29 states that do not legally prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 33 states that do not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
The Center for American Progress discovered that more than 50 percent of United States workers are employed in places in which they would not be protected from this type of discrimination. This means that most Americans could be fired for being gay, bisexual or transgender, and it would be perfectly legal. However, as revealed by a 2011 poll, the American public has not realized this situation. That poll found that 90 percent of Americans believed that Congress had passed a law that forbade discrimination against workers for sexual orientation or gender identity.
Movement is being made to make this law a reality. Lawmakers could be voting on an act that would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as early as Sept. A Senate leadership aide explained this to one publication as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and said that it could be presented to the Senate at that time. A Senate committee passed the legislation earlier in 2013, and three Republicans supported the bill. However, states and cities have passed their own protection in recent months and years.
California employment law attorneys may be able to advise individuals of the ever-changing laws regarding protection on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. They may also assist individuals who are federally protected on other grounds, such as race, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability.
Source: Huffington Post, “It’s 2013, And It’s Still Perfectly Legal To Fire Somebody For Being Gay“, Nick Wing, August 16, 2013