Examples of Unlawful Dismissal in the Workplace

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:

Are CA Employers Required to Give Holidays Off?

With the holidays quickly approaching, many California employees may be wondering if their employers have to pay them for the time they are given off of work. Not surprisingly, the answer is: it depends.

Like many other states, California employers are not required to pay their workers holiday pay when they close for business on official holidays. And working on a holiday does not guarantee overtime or additional compensation, though some employer’s do have a policy to pay extra rates such as time-and-a-half. If an employee does work on a holiday, California law only requires that an employer pay an employee their usual rate of pay. The law does not require that an employer pay you any additional pay if you work on the day of a holiday unless it is part of their common practice or if you have worked in excess of a 40 hour, 8 hour per day work week. What’s more, Saturdays and Sunday are paid at the same rate as hours worked during a weekday.

Does your employer have to give you a holiday off?

GINA and Employee Medical Testing

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:

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.

Examples of Employment Discrimination at Work

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