Kristin's Blog
Protection against Transgender, Gender Identification, and Gender Expression Discrimination and Harassment

Transgender and Gender Identity Discrimination

California’s vast protections for employees cover those persons who are transgender or identify as transgender, or of a certain gender expression. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), found at Government Code sections 12900-12996, specifically prohibits discrimination or harassment based on a person’s “gender identity” or “gender expression,” i.e. gender-related appearance and behavior. (Govt. Code §§12926(r), (a), (j)(1).) In addition, the statute’s definition of “sex” includes “gender,” which itself includes a person’s gender identity and gender expression. (Govt. Code §12926(q)(2).)

Federal law also protects against discrimination of transgender persons or those expressing certain gender identification. Under Title VII, found at 42 USC §§2000e—2000e-17, transgender discrimination has been held to be a form of sex discrimination. Smith v Salem (6th Cir 2004) 378 F3d 566, 574. See Schroer v Billington (D DC 2008) 577 F Supp 2d 293, 303 (Employer’s rescission of job offer after finding out that applicant was transitioning from male to female is sex stereotyping).

If you feel that you have been the victim of unlawful transgender discrimination, contact Kristin Rizzo. I will listen to your story, and may be able to help fight for your right not to be discriminated against based on your gender, gender identity, or gender expression.

Harassment Based on Being Transgender or Having a Specific Gender Identity

In addition to discrimination protection, California law protects employees against harassment based on sex, including being transgender, identifying oneself as transgender or gender expression.

Sex-based harassment is conduct that shows hostility based not on sexual conduct, but rather on conduct otherwise related to sex. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), found at Government Code sections 12900-12996, the proscription against sexual harassment explicitly includes harassment based on gender and harassment of transgender people based on their gender identity or gender expression. (Govt. Code §§ 12940(j)(4)(C), 12926(j)(1), (q) (defining “gender expression” as gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with a person’s assigned sex at birth).)

If you feel that you have been the victim of unlawful harassment based on your gender, being transgender, identifying as transgender or of a specific gender identity, contact Kristin Rizzo. I will listen to your story, and may be able to help fight for your right not to be harassed because of your gender, gender identity, or gender expression.

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