California Discrimination & Harassment Attorneys
Discrimination & Harassment
Employees are protected from discrimination and harassment under both federal and state employment law. Unfortunately, this does not mean that employers always abide by these laws. Both job applicants and employees can suffer harm and losses when they experience this type of unlawful conduct at work. If you believe you experienced unlawful discrimination or harassment at work, you should stand up for your rights by discussing the matter with our experienced California discrimination lawyers. Contact Blair & Ramirez LLP to set up a case evaluation right away. Our attorneys protect employees and job applicants from illegal actions by employers.
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Laws that protect California employees
There are many different laws that protect you from harassment, discrimination, and other unequal treatment in the United States. Some of the federal laws that protect employees include:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
If your employer violates one or more of the above laws, you might need to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and you may be eligible to file a federal lawsuit against your employer.
California also has robust employment laws that provide more rights for employees than most other states. The main anti-discrimination law in our state is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which protects employees from discrimination and harassment based on any of the following:
- Race or color
- Ancestry or national origin
- Religion or creed
- Sex and gender
- Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions
- Gender identity and gender expression
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Age (for employees 40 and over)
- Disability, including mental and physical conditions
- Medical conditions
- Genetic information
- Military or veteran status
If you experience discrimination or harassment based on any of the above protected factors, you can file a claim at the state level, which can involve the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Every case and situation is different. Our attorneys will determine the best course of action for your specific case.
Age discrimination & harassment
Age discrimination is an unique type of case since it only applies to employees over age 40. This type of discrimination occurs when an employer treats someone unfavorably because of their age and instead gives preference to someone who is younger. While older employees might have more experience, they also often receive higher compensation due to that experience. Employers might try to save resources by hiring someone younger who will accept much lower pay for the same work.
There are many signs of age discrimination, including:
- Companies inquiring about age during the application or interview process
- Employers denying positions or promotions solely based on someone’s age
- Leaving older employees out-of-the-loop and giving them fewer opportunities
- Harassing older employees because of their age
- Focusing layoffs and budget cuts on terminating older employees in exchange for younger employees
If you believe you experienced any of the above conduct at work, you should schedule an appointment with our age discrimination lawyers in California.
Disability discrimination & harassment
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protections for people with disabilities in many different aspects of life, including employment. Protections apply to the actual or perceived mental or physical disabilities of job applicants or employees.
Disabilities should not prevent someone from working and supporting themselves if they are able to perform the duties of a job. The law protects people with disabilities from the following in the employment landscape:
- Being asked about disabilities when applying for jobs
- Being required to undergo medical examinations when other applicants are not required to do so
- Being denied reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform their jobs
- Being denied promotions, pay increases, or other benefits due to a disability
- Undergoing harassment for a disability
- Wrongful termination
Our discrimination lawyers in California represent the rights of employees with disabilities, and we work to ensure that employers are held liable for any discrimination or harassment that occurs based on disabilities. If you have been denied reasonable accommodations or experienced other types of discrimination due to a disability, contact our office today.
Race discrimination & harassment
The law strictly prohibits any type of discrimination or harassment based on a person’s race, and similarly, based on color, ethnicity, or national origin. Also included under race discrimination is unequal treatment based on natural hairstyles, such as afros, locks, twists, or braids.
If you are harassed or discriminated against based on your race or related factors, you should take action by calling our experienced racial discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles. Race discrimination can take many forms, including:
- Refusal to hire
- Refusal of a deserved pay increase or promotion
- Undesirable assignments or shifts
- Keeping people in the “back of the house”
- Allowing offensive conduct that creates a hostile work environment
In addition, if you have been retaliated against after filing a complaint about race discrimination or harassment, talk to our attorneys. Such retaliation against employees is also prohibited under the law.
Sex and sexual orientation discrimination & harassment
Sex discrimination is a common form of employment discrimination, and it can take many forms. Sex discrimination might include the following, among many other types of conduct:
- Refusing to hire employees of one sex without a bonafide reason
- Inquiring about pregnancy or plans to become pregnant
- Firing or refusing to hire someone because of pregnancy or potential pregnancy
- Failing to accommodate new mothers for breastfeeding-related needs
- Discriminating against someone based on their nonconformity to gender stereotypes or LGBTQ status
- Paying an employee of one gender less for similar work
California was one of several states that had protections in place for employees based on their sexual orientation and gender expression or identity. However, with the 2020 Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County, sex discrimination under federal law now encompasses sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. This is important when considering whether to pursue a state or federal-level discrimination or harassment case. The right lawyer can provide advice on this matter, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Another important—and highly common—form of sex discrimination is sexual harassment at work. Every employer should have policies and training programs in place to deter unlawful harassment, but, unfortunately, this type of conduct still persists in all types of work environments.
There are two types of sexual harassment that might violate the law:
Quid pro quo
Someone with authority over your job makes your employment a condition of engaging in sexual conduct with them. This can include a boss offering a promotion in exchange for sex or threatening termination if you refuse.
Hostile work environment
Someone at your place of employment engages in harassing comments or other conduct that is so pervasive or offensive that it creates a hostile work environment for you. If either of these situations occurs, you should not wait to discuss the matter confidentially with a sexual harassment lawyer in Los Angeles.