Sexual Orientation Discrimination at Workplace Case Example In California

Several cases have been decided under Labor Code section 1102.1, defining various aspects of its application. In Delaney v. Superior Fast Freight (1993) 14 Cal. App. 4th 590, 595 [18 Cal. Rptr. 2d 33] the court flatly held that "discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is outlawed by sections 1101 and 1102 of the Labor Code" based on the holding and codification of Gay Law Students Assn., supra, 24 Cal. 3d 458. The court reasoned, "Since one who identifies himself or herself as gay or who defends homosexuality is protected as engaging in political activity, it follows that employer policies against those believed to be homosexual are outlawed as fostering an atmosphere in which gay workers would be compelled not just to forego [sic] seeking equal rights but also to hide their sexual orientation." (Delaney, supra, at p. 596). In that case, "Delaney sought to allege that he was harassed through lewd comments and conduct by his coworkers and supervisors based upon their perception of him as homosexual. He further averred that he complained about his treatment and was terminated without good cause. We express no opinion regarding Delaney's ability to prevail on the merits, but hold that it was an abuse of discretion to deny his request to amend the complaint to allege violation of sections 1101 and 1102 of the Labor Code." (Delaney, supra, at p. 596.)