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San Diego LGBTQ Discrimination Attorney

As an LGBT individual living in San Diego, you have legal protections against discrimination under state and federal law. However, exercising your rights can be challenging without an experienced attorney on your side. At Hamparyan Law Firm, our discrimination lawyers have extensive experience representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients in cases involving housing, employment, public accommodations, and other areas.

We understand the unique challenges facing the LGBT community and will aggressively pursue compensation for the harassment, unequal treatment, or denial of rights you have suffered. This guide provides an overview of laws prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination, the types of discrimination claims we handle, and how our San Diego firm can help if your rights have been violated.

If you need legal assistance in your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to contact our San Diego attorney at the Hamparyan law firm. With compassionate, client-focused legal representation, we can hold discriminators accountable, seek policy changes in your workplace, and recover the maximum financial recovery you deserve. Call us today at (619) 550-1355 for a free and confidential consultation with an LGBT discrimination lawyer.

What Constitutes LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination According to San Diego Discrimination Laws?

There are many forms of prohibited discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals in California workplaces. Under state and federal law, it is illegal for employers to take discriminatory actions based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Some examples of unlawful LGBTQ workplace discrimination include:

Hiring Discrimination

  • Not being hired for a job due to actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Being asked intrusive questions about sexual orientation or gender history in interviews.

Firing & Demotion Discrimination

  • Being fired, demoted, or passed up for promotions due to sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Using sexual orientation or gender identity as a reason for termination.

Pay Discrimination

  • Being paid less than heterosexual or cisgender peers for the same work
  • Denial of raises and bonuses due to LGBTQ status.

Harassment & Hostile Work Environment

  • Verbal or physical harassment by coworkers or supervisors targeting LGBTQ employees
  • Failure to address anti-LGBTQ harassment that creates a hostile environment.

Denial of Benefits

  • Refusing health insurance coverage to same-sex partners legally married to employees
  • Denial of bereavement leave if an employee’s same-sex partner dies.

Discriminatory Policies

  • Requiring transgender employees to use restrooms that don’t align with their gender identity
  • Enforcing restrictive dress codes based on sex stereotypes.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) has extensive protections banning harassment and discrimination against members of the LGBT community. Employers also have obligations under federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

If you have experienced discrimination at work or any unfair or unlawful treatment due to your gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, contact our LGBTQ discrimination attorneys today. We can assess your situation and advise you on the best legal options to take action.

Types of LGBTQ+ Discrimination

While there’s been progress in honoring the rights of all gender identities, discrimination still occurs frequently in areas like housing, employment, and access to public spaces and services.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

This includes firing, refusing to hire, denying promotions, unequal pay, harassment and other adverse actions due to being lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Many states, including California, have laws banning LGBT discrimination in the workplace, regardless of size. Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, discrimination based on sex encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

Gender Identity Discrimination

It is illegal discrimination to take actions against someone for being transgender. Refusing bathroom access, intentionally misgendering, denying health benefits, refusing to hire, firing, or harassing transgender individuals constitutes unlawful discrimination. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the clear position that gender identity discrimination is a form of sex discrimination banned under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

LGBT Discrimination in Housing

The federal Fair Housing Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibit denying housing, evictions, unequal terms or conditions, harassment, and other forms of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Harassment and Discrimination in Public Accommodations

Under California law, businesses cannot segregate, deny services to, or treat LGBT individuals differently than other customers. This includes restaurants, hotels, transportation, and all public spaces. Harassment and mistreatment based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are also prohibited.

Key Laws Prohibiting LGBT Discrimination

If you have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, there are federal and state laws that protect your rights.

Federal Laws Against LGBTQ+ Discrimination

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bans employment discrimination based on sex. A landmark 2020 Supreme Court decision confirmed that this includes sexual orientation and gender identity, thus making it clear that LGBTQ+ individuals are also protected.
  • The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination nationwide based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

California State LGBTQ Discrimination Laws

  • Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – California fair employment and housing laws ban discrimination and harassment in employment, housing, and public spaces based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
  • Unruh Civil Rights Act – This outlaws arbitrary discrimination in public accommodations and business establishments. The protection extends to LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Ralph Civil Rights Act – This law prohibits violence or threats against a person due to sexual orientation, gender identity, and other protected characteristics.

With an experienced attorney’s help, these laws can be powerful tools to hold discriminators accountable and recover compensation for what you’ve suffered.

Proving LGBTQ Discrimination in San Diego

Discrimination often happens quietly, behind closed doors. That’s why gathering evidence to prove your claim is critical.

Documenting Evidence

If you believe you are experiencing discrimination, start taking detailed notes of incidents, including dates, times, who was present, and exactly what happened. Save copies of emails, texts, performance reviews, and other relevant documents. Photograph offensive signage, graffiti, or vandalism.

Eyewitness Testimony

Did coworkers or others witness harassment, denial of services, or other discrimination? Get written statements from eyewitnesses now while memories are fresh. Video or audio recordings can also help corroborate allegations.

Statistical Evidence

In some cases, statistics can help establish a pattern of LGBT discrimination. A competent attorney can analyze hiring rates, pay scales, promotion data, tenant files, and other aggregate data to identify potentially discriminatory policies and practices. At the Hamparyan law office, we know how to build a compelling case proving unlawful LGBT discrimination under federal, state, or local laws.

Filing a Claim for LGBTQ Discrimination in the Workplace

If you have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, here is how Hamparyan Law Firm can help protect your rights:

Administrative Complaints

For employment discrimination, we can file administrative complaints with government agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).


Where attempts to resolve matters fail or discrimination is severe, we can file lawsuits in state or federal courts. Lawsuits allow you to recover compensation for economic damages, emotional distress, and in some cases, punitive damages to punish and deter wrongdoing.


Over 90% of lawsuits settle out of court. An experienced attorney can negotiate effectively to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Our lawyers at Hamparyan have decades of experience negotiating for a fair settlement offer. If needed, we can take your case to trial and fight to win.

When you work with us at Hamparyan, we will walk you through all options and develop an aggressive legal strategy tailored to the facts of your case. Start with a free and confidential consultation.

Why Choose Hamparyan Law Firm?

With extensive experience handling injury and discrimination cases, Hamparyan Law Firm have the skills to address LGBT discrimination issues.

Proven Track Record

Our attorneys have successfully represented Southern Californians who suffered through the actions of others. We have recovered millions of dollars for clients through settlements and verdicts.

Client-Focused Service

We understand these cases often involve sensitive, personal issues. We handle each case discreetly, making client service our top priority. You will work directly with an attorney dedicated to protecting your rights.

Trial-Tested San Diego Discrimination Attorneys

While we first pursue settlement, we are fully prepared to take your case to a jury trial if needed to maximize your recovery. We have a long history of success in court, particularly in California where we have received accolades from the legal community.

If you have suffered LGBT discrimination, contact Hamparyan Law Firm at (619) 550-1355 for a free case review. Our experienced attorneys can discuss your rights and options to take legal action.

LGBTQ Discrimination in San Diego Workplace: Frequently Asked Questions

Is discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal?

Yes, federal law and California state law prohibit discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation. This includes firing, refusing to hire, denying promotions, unequal pay, harassment, and other adverse actions against gay, lesbian or bisexual employees.

What should I do if my employer fires me for being gay?

If you are terminated, denied a promotion, or otherwise discriminated against based on your sexual orientation, you may be a victim of LGBTQ discrimination. Contact an attorney immediately. Your lawyer should assess your case, gather evidence, and file complaints with the EEOC or California agencies on your behalf asserting your rights were violated. They can also file a lawsuit seeking reinstatement, back pay, emotional distress damages, and other compensation. It is critical to act quickly to preserve your rights.

What types of discrimination against lesbians, gay, and bisexual individuals are prohibited under California law?

Under California FEHA, it is illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Unlawful discrimination includes firing, refusing to hire, denying promotions, unequal pay, evictions, denying housing, refusal of services, harassment, and violence based on sexual orientation. FEHA also prohibits sex discrimination and sexual harassment at work.

What evidence do I need to prove discrimination based on gender identity?

Strong evidence is critical to prove transgender or gender identity discrimination allegations. Documentation should include copies of emails, texts, or written policies addressing gender-specific facilities, uniforms, or grooming standards. Eyewitness statements, photographs, and video recordings of harassment incidents can also substantiate your claim. In addition, an attorney can help aggregate data showing differential hiring rates, promotions, or wages for transgender employees, which help establish discriminatory patterns.

How long do I have to file a San Diego LGBTQ discrimination claim?

Time limits to assert your rights can be very short, so you should contact a discrimination attorney in San Diego immediately. For employment discrimination, you typically must file an administrative complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within three years of the last discriminatory incident. Meanwhile, housing discrimination complaints must be filed within two years.

Note that other administrative and legal deadlines apply. An attorney can advise you of all applicable time limits and ensure your claim is filed on time.

Experienced San Diego LGBT Discrimination Lawyer: Schedule a Free Consultation with Hamparyan Law Firm Today

Hamparyan Law Firm have extensive experience protecting the rights of Californians. We have the competence to handle LGBTQ discrimination cases in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Our attorneys are aggressive advocates, ready to assert your rights under federal, state, or local laws against discrimination.

If you have suffered discrimination, harassment, unequal treatment, or other violations due to being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, contact us today for a free consultation. Call (619) 550-1355 now to schedule a confidential meeting with one of our attorneys. We take LGBT discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t charge you any lawyer fees until we obtain compensation for you.


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