What Laws Protect Employees from Workplace and Employment Discrimination in California?

California employees are covered under all of the same federal anti-discrimination laws that protect workers around the nation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But California workers are also protected under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

Are You or Someone You Know the Victim of Workplace Discrimination?

Workplace Discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or class of employees differently because of that employees membership in a protected class. Discrimination because of race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, immigration status and/or percieved disability is unlawful. Discrimination can occur when an employee is passed up for a promotion, terminated, demoted or treated adversely in any way as a result of their protected status. If you feel you or someone you know was treated differently because of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, immigration status, perceived disability or any other wrongful reason, please call our experiences employment discrimination attorneys.

Employment discrimination can take many forms. Employment Discrimination generally occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly because of their race, gender, nationality, religion, age, disability, or familial status. An act of discrimination may occur when an employer or potential employer refuses to hire a person because of a protected characteristic; disciplines an employee because of that persons protected characteristic, terminates or fires a person because of that persons protected characteristic; or allows a person to be harassed because of a protected characteristic.

Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from workplace or employment discrimination based on their age. The ADEA protects both prospective and current employees from Workplace and Employment Discrimination based on age. The ADEA makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of that persons age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The ADEA permits employers to favor older workers based on age even when doing so adversely affects a younger worker who is 40 or older.
It is also unlawful to retaliate (take a negative employment action) against an individual for speaking out against or complaining to an employer about employment practices that discriminate based on age or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, or litigation under the ADEA.

The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

Discrimination Based on Race or Color

Race or Color Discrimination involves treating someone (a job applicant or current employee) poorly or differently because he or she is of a particular race or because of personal characteristics associated with race or the color of his or her skin.

It is illegal to discriminate based upon when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Even established employment policies or practices which apply to everyone, regardless of race or color, can be unlawful if it tends to have a negative impact on people of a particular race or color and is not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business.

Discrimination Based on Religion or Creed

Religious discrimination in the workplace can take various forms. If you have been denied work or a promotion, harassed at work, or denied an accommodation at work because of your religious beliefs or practices, or because of your lack of certain religious beliefs you may grounds for a lawsuit. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) prohibit many employers from engaging in religious discrimination in the workplace. To find out more about what religious discrimination is and how you may be protected contact our experiences employment discrimination attorneys.

Discrimination Based on Immigration Status, Citizenship or National Origin

Immigration Status Discrimination occurs when an employer treats an individual differently based upon their citizenship or immigration status. United States citizens, recent permanent residents, asylees, and refugees are protected from immigration status discrimination. . This type of discrimination deals largely with abusive requests for paperwork related to ones immigration status. Immigration status discrimination is also sometimes referred to as citizenship status discrimination.

Whether an employee or job applicants ancestry is Mexican, Russian, Filipino, Iranian, American Indian, or any other nationality or combination of nationalities, everyone is entitled to equal access to employment opportunities. Title VII makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of national origin. This law applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The law protects people against discrimination based upon birthplace, ancestry, culture, linguistic characteristics or accent. The laws are extended to include individuals married to or associated with persons of a particular national origin, membership or association with specific ethnic promotion groups, attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples, or mosques associated with a national original group, or a surname associated with a national origin group. If you or someone you love has been the victim of discrimination based upon national origin, immigration status or citizenship, please immediately contact our experienced employment discrimination attorneys.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination is a type of employment discrimination that occurs when a person is fired, not hired, or otherwise discriminated against due to their pregnancy or intention to become pregnant. In addition, employers cannot ask current or potential employees questions about pregnancy issues at any time, including during an interview.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination under Title VII and The California FEHA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) generally define as unlawful any sexually explicit comment, unwelcome sexual advance or similar action that goes to create an intimidating or hostile work environment. If your workplace is hostile or intimidating because of sexually explicit or charged comments or other sexually inappropriate behavior, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Sexual Identity

Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is subjected to negative employment action, harassment, or denial of benefits as a result of the employee's sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation or the sexual orientation of someone close to them. While federal, state and local laws, as well as increased social awareness have improved the situation dramatically, many people who are not heterosexual or do not fit into the "heteronormative" still face obstacles in the workplace. Being gay, bisexual, asexual, or pansexual is not a reason to treat an employee differently. It is important for employees to have the right information about what constitutes discrimination based on sexual orientation, what constitutes harassment, and how sexual orientation discrimination can tie in with other prohibited forms of discrimination like, sex, disability, gender identity, and marital status. The law in this area is changing rapidly for the better. If you feel you might have been discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, please contact our experienced and compassionate employment discrimination attorneys now.

Discrimination based on sexual identity is also a growing area of law. If you feel you have been treated negatively at work as a result of your sexual identity, please contact our experienced and compassionate workplace discrimination attorneys now.

Adverse Action Required in Discrimination Claims

Federal and state law prohibits discrimination in employment based on certain protected categories, including race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion and disability. These laws affect all areas of the employment process including termination.

When an employee can prove that his or her termination, demotion, transfer, cut in hours, failure to hire or promote came as a result of unlawful job discrimination, an employer could be held liable for violation of civil rights laws designed to protect workers by ensuring they are treated equally on the job.

Contact Our Experienced Discrimination Attorneys Today

When workplace discrimination becomes an issue, you’ll need a qualified attorney experienced in employment and labor law to successfully bring a claim. To get the justice you deserve, contact Solouki | Savoy, LLP to talk to an experienced lawyer. Our attorneys can get you the best results.