What you should know about workplace discrimination


While it is prohibited by both state and federal law, workplace discrimination remains a serious problem in California and the United States as a whole. Discrimination can happen to anyone—man or woman, gay or straight, young or old—and can have a serious impact on nearly every aspect of victims’ lives and career.

Many people who experience workplace discrimination suffer emotionally, psychologically, and financially, and some may even stop working altogether. Fortunately, there are ways that an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to help.

At Blair & Ramirez LLP, we are dedicated to helping the victims of workplace discrimination put their lives back together and hold their employers accountable. We understand how discrimination can adversely affect a person both personally and professionally, and our attorneys fight tirelessly to uphold our clients’ rights under the law.

Protecting yourself against workplace discrimination

To learn more about unlawful discrimination and the ways you can protect yourself as an employee, check out our latest infographic.

See our infographic

The Psychological Impact of Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination can have profound psychological impacts on victims. The experience often leads to stress, anxiety, and depression, which can permeate every aspect of life. The feeling of being judged or mistreated based on personal attributes rather than merit can severely affect one's self-esteem and mental health.

Victims might experience symptoms like insomnia, loss of appetite, or overwhelming sadness. These mental health challenges not only affect their personal life but also their productivity and engagement at work. It's crucial for employers to recognize these impacts and take steps to support affected employees, whether through counseling services, support groups, or a more inclusive workplace culture.

What qualifies as workplace discrimination?

Workplace discrimination involves an adverse employment action or the unfair treatment of a job applicant or employee based on protected factors. These factors are specified in the law, and California’s anti-discrimination laws contain some of the most comprehensive protections for employees in the United States.

In California, unlawful discrimination can be based on any of the following:

  • Race or color
  • Religion or creed
  • Ancestry or national origin
  • Age (for employees 40 and older)
  • Disability, including actual or perceived mental and physical disabilities
  • Medical condition
  • Sex or gender, which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and other pregnancy or childbirth-related medical conditions
  • Marital status
  • Gender identity and gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Genetic information
  • Military and veteran status
  • Natural hairstyle (effective January 1, 2020)

If an employer makes any decisions regarding hiring, promotions, demotions, termination, compensation, or benefits based on the factors listed above—or allows harassment based on these factors—it may constitute unlawful workplace discrimination.


What are some examples of discrimination in the workplace?

Discrimination can take many forms. In many cases, employees hesitate to take action because they are not sure whether they have been a victim or not. If you suspect that your employer acted in a discriminatory manner because you are a member of a protected class, you should discuss what happened with an experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer right away.

Some examples of scenarios involving discrimination at work include:

  • A company refuses to hire someone because of a protected factor or directly inquires about a protected factor in an interview or on an application. This can include potential employers asking about your sexual orientation, whether you have a disability, whether you plan to become pregnant, what religion you practice, and more.
  • You apply for a promotion and you are the most qualified person for the job. However, your employer promotes someone else who is less qualified but who is not a minority race.
  • An employer requires an employee who wears a hijab to work in a non-customer facing position or refuses to accommodate religious practice by not allowing an exception to the “no headwear” company policy when the exception would be reasonable and safe under the circumstances.
  • A company enacts a policy that disproportionately applies to members of a protected class over other non-protected employees.
  • Your employer allows other employees to repeatedly harass you based on your sex or sexual orientation, and it creates a hostile work environment for you.
  • An employer terminates an employee who is 50 years old despite their stellar job performance and hires a much younger employee who is willing to work for much less compensation.

How can we deal with discrimination?

If you suspect that you are experiencing discrimination at work, it is in your best interest to take steps to protect your rights. In many cases, this means going through the proper channels and discussing your situation with an employment discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles.

It is important that employees do not remain quiet about discrimination, as this only empowers employers to continue treating people unfairly and unlawfully. Many employees might be nervous about bringing up the issue, as they may fear they might lose their jobs. However, the law also prohibits retaliation against employees who complain of discrimination or harassment, so you should never be afraid to stand up for your rights.


Legal Remedies and Compensation for Discrimination Victims

For those who have experienced workplace discrimination, there are several legal avenues available for seeking justice and compensation. Victims can file a lawsuit against their employers for violations of state or federal anti-discrimination laws. Successful claims may lead to remedies including:

  • Back pay for lost wages
  • Reinstatement if unfairly terminated
  • Compensation for emotional distress
  • Punitive damages to punish severe misconduct by the employer
  • Attorneys’ fees

Furthermore, courts may order companies to make policy changes that prevent future discrimination. This aspect of legal remedy not only helps the individual plaintiff but also contributes to broader societal impacts by promoting a more equitable work environment.

Where do you report discrimination in the workplace?

The best course of action to take when it comes to reporting discrimination depends on your circumstances. Some outlets include:

  • Your supervisor at work
  • Your company’s HR department
  • The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

In order to know the best place to report your particular experiences and concerns, consult with an employment discrimination lawyer directly.

Call Blair & Ramirez LLP today to schedule a consultation with an employment discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles

If you believe that you have suffered discrimination at your place of work, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced lawyer immediately. At Blair & Ramirez LLP, we will closely review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a legal claim against your employer. To schedule your case evaluation with an experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer, call our office today at (213) 568-4000 or contact us online.

Your guide to workplace discrimination

Share this infographic on your website!

Copy the code below to add this infographic to your website.
<a href=“https://www.blairramirezlaw.com/los-angeles-discrimination-lawyer” title=“What You Should Know About Workplace Discrimination”><img src="https://www.blairramirezlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Workplace-Discrimination-Infographic-Resized.jpg" width="100%" style="max-width: 1000px;" alt=“What You Should Know About Workplace Discrimination“></a><br>Created by <a href="https://www.blairramirezlaw.com/” target="_blank">Blair & Ramirez LLP</a></p>