Discrimination in the workplace is against the law in California. Both Federal and California laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on an employee’s “protected characteristics”. Under California’s pro-employee laws, these characteristics include:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Medical condition
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual orientation
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information
  • Sexual orientation and identity
  • Political activities or affiliations
  • Military or veteran status

This list is not exhaustive. If your employer has discriminated against you in another manner, contact our experienced workplace discrimination attorneys to discuss your specific situation.

No matter how subtle, discrimination in the workplace can be shocking to anyone who has experienced it. At Hardin & Lott, our discrimination lawyer services represent individuals who have been discriminated against due to their race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation among many other factors. Call us today to talk to our experienced lawyer and discuss your case.

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination in the workplace is a real issue. A California employer commits race discrimination when it makes job decisions on the basis of race. This can include hiring, firing, not hiring, compensation, and/or not providing certain employee benefits to an individual because of the color of their skin. If you believe that your employer made a decision about the terms of your employment based on your race, you may be able to recover financial compensation in a discrimination lawsuit.

Gender / Sex Discrimination

Gender discrimination, also known as sex discrimination, involves an employer treating a job applicant or employee unfavorably because of that person’s sex. It can also involve discriminating against someone because of his or her connection with an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain sex.

Gay / Lesbian / Transgender Discrimination

Many lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals experience unlawful treatment in the form of sex discrimination. This type of discrimination may include sexual harassment or adverse actions taken because of the person’s non-conformance with sex-stereotypes.

Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is also considered discrimination because of sex and is known as gender identity discrimination. A report from the National Center for Transgender Equality shows that 26% of trans people have lost a job due to bias and 50% have been harassed on the job due to their gender identity. If your employer has not been sensitive to your gender identification, you may have a claim for sex discrimination.

Pregnancy Discrimination

pregnancy discriminationDiscrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes is against the law in California. As a pregnant woman, you are to be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.  This means that an employer cannot refuse to hire you because of your pregnancy as long as you are able to perform the major functions of your job. Additionally, you may be eligible for paid or unpaid maternity leave.

Federal Discrimination Laws

The federal laws that prohibit discrimination at work include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Companies with 15 or more employees are generally subject to these federal laws and, under the Equal Pay Act, all companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work.

There is a process employees must go through when bringing a discrimination claim under federal law. Generally speaking, a victim of discrimination must file a charge with the Equal Employment Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before a private lawsuit may be filed in court. Not only that, a charge must be filed with EEOC within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation, so do not delay in contacting our employment attorneys if you have been discriminated against at work.

California Discrimination Laws

In California, companies with five or more employees are subject to the state’s antidiscrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). FEHA prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment because of the protected characteristics listed above and/or retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to one of these categories. To bring an employment claim under California law, an employee must take certain procedural steps, including obtaining a Notice of Right to Sue. What’s more, complaints of discrimination must be filed with the Department within one year from the date of the alleged discriminatory act.

Damages for Discrimination in California

If a California employee has been illegally discriminated against, he or she can seek to recover damages for harm done. These damages often take the form of financial compensation, including:

  • Past, present, and future lost wages. If, despite reasonable efforts, you are unable to find employment after your wrongful termination, you may be entitled to all wages you would have earned had you not been wrongfully terminated. If you find subsequent employment, but you earn less than what your prior employer paid, you are entitled to the difference.
  • Emotional distress damages. Common examples of emotional distress include, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and other emotional and physical symptoms.
  • Punitive damages. Which can be many times your compensatory damages and are used to set an example of the employer.

The Right Employment Law Attorneys

If you have been mistreated by your employer, contact Hardin & Lott, an employment law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Orange County with experience in representing employees just like you.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by an illegal labor/employment practice, you want experience and success on your side. Contact the knowledgeable lawyers at Hardin & Lott today.

(949) 337-4810, (310) 606-2122, or (844) 615-1122

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