Have you been treated unfairly at work because of your age? Sex? Race? Both federal and California law clearly prohibit your employer from discriminating against you (such as by dismissing you or demoting you) for a number of reasons, including your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and age. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) goes even further and makes it against the law for your employer to dismiss/discharge you based on your:
In many cases, a potential employee’s family history is a great indicator of predispositions to certain hereditary diseases and illnesses. In a perfect world, this information could assist employers in making hiring, firing, and demoting decisions, potentially affecting a business’s bottom line for the better. However, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law.
“Genetic information,” as defined by GINA, includes:
With the holidays around the corner, many California employees will be asking for time off to celebrate with loved ones, dressing in the holiday spirit, and generally just enjoying the holiday season. What happens if your employer discriminates against you because you are celebrating a holiday he or she doesn’t believe in? You may have a potential workplace discrimination claim.
What’s more, California employees are protected if their employer discriminates against them because they think that employee is a certain religion, when you are not. For example, it’s against the law for your employers to discriminate against you for wearing a headscarf because they think you are a Muslim, even if you are not actually Muslim.
Religious discrimination in the workplace
Religious discrimination in the workplace involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs and/or treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group. California and federal law protects anyone who has sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Additionally, the law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, and fringe benefits.
Most employers are aware that they cannot discriminate against employees and applicants based on their religion. Where many employers are not so clear is their requirement to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee’s or applicant’s “sincerely held” religious beliefs, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the business’s operations. Common religious accommodations in the workplace include flexible scheduling, voluntary shift substitutions or swaps, job reassignments, and modifications to workplace policies or practices.
Sex and gender discrimination in the California workplace is an increasingly hot topic as more women and openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals enter the workforce. While state and federal laws require that these employees are given equal access and protections, they often do not receive these mandated benefits and instead are discriminated against because of their sex or gender identification on a regular basis.
Sex & Gender Discrimination
Sex or gender employment discrimination involves treating a person unfavorably because of the person’s sex. While predominantly an issue for women, sex discrimination can also be directed towards men. This person could be a job applicant or a current employee. If you were discriminated against at work because of your gender or sexual orientation, know that California law is on your side. For example, if you have not been hired for a job, fired, or otherwise harmed in employment because of your sex or gender, then you may have suffered sex or gender discrimination. An experienced employment lawyer can explain more.
Employment discrimination is a hot topic these days and unfortunately, not for good reasons — Employment discrimination cases are on the rise in California.
Employment discrimination is illegal under state and federal law. This means that California employers generally cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of race, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age (for workers over 40), military status, financial situation, genetics, or citizenship. These rights are guaranteed by the “equal protection clause” of the Constitution and by state constitutions. For instance, the California Constitution provides explicit protections to public and private sector employees. This is unusual, because in most states protections are offered only for public sector workers. In other words, if you have a potential claim for discrimination at work, know that California and federal law are on your side.
Examples of workplace discrimination
Have you been discriminated against by your Orange County employer because of your race? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you are not alone. In fact, in 2014, over 31,000 employees filed racial discrimination claims against their employers. In second place, with over 26,000 claims, was gender discrimination. These numbers are troubling and indicate that discrimination against qualified, hard-working workers happens all too often.
What is racial discrimination?
According the the EEOC, race discrimination involves an employer treating an applicant or employee unfavorably because s/he is of a certain race. What’s more, a worker can be discriminated against of personal characteristics associated with a certain race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Even if your supervisor or boss is of the same race or color as you, if he mistreats you because of your race, it is discrimination.
Examples of race-based discrimination in California can include: