About half of the states, including California, have state laws that protect people from job discrimination based on sexual orientation and, in many cases, transgender status. But in the rest, the LGBTQI community is not protected from workplace discrimination by state law.
In a recent set of rulings, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said there was "reasonable cause" to find that at least seven employers violated federal anti-discrimination laws. These employers allegedly used Facebook's ad targeting system to exclude women and older workers from even seeing job ads from their companies.
It is simple: retaliation is illegal. California employers cannot threaten, terminate or demote an employee in response to the employee engaging in a protected action, such as reporting discrimination. And most employers know this.