What to Do if You Are Harassed at Work for Being Transgender By Gregory Thyberg on February 07, 2024

distraught employeeFederal and local employment laws ensure a safe work environment for employees, making workplace harassment and discrimination illegal. While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prevents discrimination and harassment based on sex, it does not address gender, which is a pressing issue in today’s workforce.

Although federal employment laws do not address transgender discrimination, workers in California have protections. Workplace discrimination and workplace harassment lawyer Gregory Thyberg advises his Sacramento, CA, clients on what to do if they are harassed at work for being transgender and informs them of their rights under state law.

California Trans Employee Protections

California employment laws expand on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protections. State employment laws, enforced by the Civil Rights Department (CRD), make it unlawful for any employee, job applicant, unpaid intern, volunteer, or contractor to face harassment or discrimination based on a protected characteristic. Sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are all protected characteristics under state law.

Recognizing Harassment in the Workplace

Workplace harassment and discrimination include acts that create a hostile or unsafe work environment or any workplace decisions based on a protected characteristic. Transgender harassment and discrimination specifically center around a person’s gender identity or expression. Examples of transgender workplace harassment and discrimination include:

  • Making jokes, lewd, or derogatory remarks based on a person’s gender identity
  • Routinely excluding an employee from business meetings, social business events, or pertinent communication due to their gender identity
  • Refusing to address a worker by their preferred name or pronouns
  • Refusing transgender employees access to a safe and appropriate restroom facility
  • Threats or acts of violence due to a worker’s gender identity
  • Making decisions regarding hiring, firing, training, or promotion based on gender identity
  • Providing unequal pay to transgender employees
  • Writing an unfavorable job performance review without justification

What Should I Do if I’m Being Harassed at Work? 

Employees who experience transgender harassment or discrimination in the workplace must take the appropriate steps to hold liable employers accountable. We advise victims of transgender harassment or discrimination to report the offense to their employer, file a complaint with the California CRD, and hire an employment law attorney.

Report Harassment to the Employer

Victims of workplace harassment or discrimination should report the offenses to their employer. Most employers have a Human Resources department to handle harassment and discrimination claims. When reporting harassment or discrimination, it is beneficial to provide detailed information. We recommend taking notes on all instances of harassment or discrimination. Notes should describe the incident, when and where it occurred, and names and contact information for any witnesses.

File a Claim With the CRD

The California CRD evaluates and investigates harassment and discrimination claims. Complaints can be filed through the CRD website or the mail using a printable form. Workers filing a claim with the CRD should have detailed information about reported incidents, including the person who committed the act, documents or evidence that support the claim, and the names of any witnesses. Harassment and discrimination claims must be filed with the CRD within three years of the incident.

Hire an Employment Law Attorney

The CRD takes action against employers when a harassment or discrimination claim is substantiated, but injured parties may still be left with emotional and financial losses. We urge all Sacramento victims of transgender workplace harassment or discrimination to hire a knowledgeable employment law attorney, such as Gregory Thyberg, to pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit. Depending on the losses sustained, employees may be due:

  • Lost wages (including back pay)
  • Emotional suffering
  • Punitive damages

Contact Us

Workplace harassment lawyer Gregory Thyberg works hard to collect compensation for victims of transgender workplace harassment or discrimination. If you believe you have been subject to harassment due to your gender identity, we invite you to contact our Sacramento law firm and schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.

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Thyberg Law

Since 1981, Gregory A. Thyberg has been providing legal services to clients throughout Sacramento. With a focus on employment law, he can help you find a solution when facing discrimination, harassment, or other workplace injustices. Mr. Thyberg is affiliated with organizations like the:

  • California Bar Association
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyer’s Association

If you're experiencing unlawful discrimination in the workplace, request a consultation with Mr. Thyberg or call (916) 204-9173.

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