Discrimination in the Workplace
California Discrimination Laws
We serve clients in Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, and the entire state of California region in a range of workplace discrimination matters, including:
- Discrimination based on age: You may recognize age discrimination when your employer takes adverse employment action because of your age (40 years or more) while younger employees are treated differently and more favorably. Often, older employees are demoted, forced out, or terminated and subsequently replaced by or overlooked in favor of younger, frequently less experienced and less qualified employees. Employers tend to discriminate against employees based on age due to various assumptions that are made about “older” employees regarding medical expenses, and the assumed low probability of extended employment. However, these assumptions lead employers to violate certain California labor laws. To learn more about age discrimination, click here.
- Discrimination because of cancer: In California, cancer is considered a “medical condition” rather than a disability, which means that the condition does not have to limit a major life activity. Employers are required to accommodate employees with medical conditions as long as it does not result in “undue hardship” to the company. These accommodations vary, can take place on a continuous basis, and are dynamic according to the phase of cancer treatment. To learn more about cancer discrimination, click here. To learn more about the accommodations an employee with cancer is entitled to, click here. Cancer conditions can also constitute a disability within the meaning of California law.
- Discrimination based on gender: If you were discriminated against because of your sex or gender, we can help. Though there has been progress in terms of gender equality, there are still residual effects of sex discrimination in the form of lower salaries for women, and fewer opportunities for women in the workplace. Under California law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex. Click here to learn more about wage equality in California. Click here to learn more about discrimination based on gender.
- Discrimination based on race/ethnicity: It is against the law for a potential or current employer, to ask you the origin of your surname, where you come from and whether you are of a mixed race. Racial discrimination is linked to the stereotypes an employer may link to a certain ethnicity. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against prospective and current employees in hiring decisions, benefits, promotions and terminations. To learn more about racial discrimination, click here.
- Discrimination based on religion: Although private employers are not bound by the Constitution’s restrictions on government, they are subject to federal and state laws that ban religious discrimination in employment. Click here to learn more about religious discrimination.
- Discrimination because of pregnancy: Many circumstances experienced by pregnant women in the workplace are illegal and actionable in court. Such violations include, but are not limited to terminating an employee because she is pregnant, failing to hire a candidate because of pregnancy, denying promotions because of pregnancy, or demoting an employee because of pregnancy. Many employers fail to provide accommodations for pregnant employees, and often attempt to force pregnant employees out of the workplace (i.e., constructively terminating them). These violations on the part of the employer significantly worsen the emotional and physical challenges that accompany pregnancy. California law allows for a broad range of symptoms and conditions related to pregnancy to be considered a “disability” for which a pregnancy disability leave is administered. To learn more about pregnancy discrimination, click here. Read more about pregnancy disability leave rights here.
- Discrimination because of disability: Many employers in California do not understand the laws regarding disability discrimination. In the first place, the definition of “disability” in California is very broad, embracing any restriction that limits a major life activity, such as working. Moreover, bad backs, high blood pressure, migraines and even transitory conditions such as a broken hip may constitute a disability. Employers have a duty to accommodate disabilities. Such accommodations may include the allowance of medical leave beyond FMLA/CFRA leave, re-assignment with priority to another existing position, modification of a workspace, modification of job duties, and so forth. Employers, like employees, are required to engage in an interactive dialogue to develop an appropriate accommodation of work restrictions. Employers are barred by law from retaliating against an employee seeking accommodations, protesting discrimination, or taking medical leave. To learn more about California Disability Law and Regulations, including what conditions are considered “disabilities” and how they may be “accommodated”, click here . To learn more about the interplay of FMLA and California Disability law, click here.
How do you establish that you’ve been a victim of discrimination?
Certain documents are very important to your potential employment discrimination case. These include: (1) your personnel file, (2) the company’s employee handbook, (3) a journal of your experience in the workplace, (4) pay stubs, (5) any documents evidencing the discrimination, (6) any health records related to your mental or medical condition, (7) a list of witnesses, and (8) any performance reviews. For more information, click here.