Discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is important to understand what is considered discrimination or harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. To explain, let's start with some introductory definitions:
Gender identity: a person’s gender-related appearance or behavior, or the perception of such appearance or behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s sex assigned at birth.
Gender expression: is defined by law to mean a “person’s gender-related appearances and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth,” which means each person’s identification is an internal understanding of their gender, or the perception of a person’s gender identity, which may include male, female, a combination of male and female, neither male nor female, a gender different from the person’s sex assigned at birth, or transgender.
Sex: by definition, as provided in Government Code section 12926, includes, but is not limited to, pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, gender, gender identity, and gender expression, or perception by a third party of any of the aforementioned.
Transgender: a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
*Definitions referenced from the California Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) website.