Is it still discrimination and harassment if a gay employee with more power/ influence in the workplace berates you and says how bad of a gay you are, or that you are too gay, or treating you poorly as a gay person because of the way you dress look or act? additionally, what if an employee is verbally gross, inappropriate, and says sexual things, including proposing sex, oral, and following me home because he thinks I'm gay which he assumes means I'm "easy"?
Sexual harassment is illegal under California's Fair Employment & Housing Act ("FEHA"). It doesn't matter if the person harassing you is the same or different in their sexual orientation. It doesn't even require sexual attraction; sexual harassment, when it is unwelcome, and so severe or pervasive that it fundamentally alters the nature of the workplace, is illegal.
I am particularly concerned about this person following you home. If you feel physically threatened, consider calling the police. Regardless of the implication to your employment, your physical safety needs to come first.
Short of calling the police, consider making a complaint in writing at work to this person's boss. Your employer has a duty under the law to investigate all such complaints. It is true that retaliating against you because of such a complaint would be illegal, but employers do illegal things all the time. Therefore, consider whether what is going on is worth placing your job in jeopardy.
If your employer retaliates against you for making the complaint, you might then have a cause of action for illegal retaliation. But I know most people would rather have a job than a lawsuit, so consider whether this is worth it to you.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Craig T. Byrnes
Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.
Yes. If the harassment by a co-worker, supervisor, etc. is either "severe or pervasive," it is unlawful harassment of the employee. It does not matter if the accused is gay. If you feel you have been harassed BECAUSE you are gay and the harassment was either severe or pervasive and you did not invite the harassment, etc., call an employment law attorney to discuss, as my last response to your earlier post stated. It does not help you to continue to post questions. If you have a case and the opposing side finds your posts, they can glean info that may be unhelpful to you. Find employment law contact info on Avvo.com. Kristine Karila, Employment Law Attorney
While legally there is no significance to the sexual identity of the harasser, absent significant evidence it may be harder to convince a jury the harasser was motivated by the victim's sexual orientation.
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