Our Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyers Are Dedicated to Protecting Employees Laws
While employers have the right to hire, fire, and promote employees based on their merit, they do not have the right to do so based on certain protected characteristics. There are state and federal laws in place to prevent workplace discrimination so that all people have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their loved ones.
What Does Discrimination Look Like?
Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. While some forms are obvious, such as using slurs or other language that targets or disparages minorities, other forms are more discrete—but no less impactful.
Workplace discrimination can also take place in many—in fact, all—aspects of the employment relationship including the following:
- Job postings or application forms;
- Job screening processes or interviews;
- Hiring, job placement, compensation, or seniority decisions;
- Promotion, pay raise, transfer, or job opportunity decisions; and
- Working conditions or locations.
In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers with five or more employees from discriminating against job applicants or employees based on their protected characteristics. Federal laws such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect employees in California against workplace discrimination as well. Unfortunately, all forms of discrimination remain common in all aspects of employment, and as a result, many employees find themselves needing to speak with a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer in confidence.
Our Los Angeles Discrimination Attorney Explains Different Types of Unlawful Discrimination
Workplace discrimination often happens in subtle ways, but they are illegal regardless. Our firm is experienced in assisting employees who have suffered various types of discrimination, including:
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) offers protection to employees aged 40 and older to prevent them from being unfairly discriminated against based solely on their age.
It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone based on their gender or sex. For example, if a female is passed over for a promotion solely because she is a female, the employer has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
An employer cannot discriminate against an employee based on their race, national origin, skin color, or ancestry, as this is also a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. An example of this would be an employer that refuses to hire an otherwise qualified candidate because they are a minority.
A pregnant employee is protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Pregnancy discrimination can take many forms, from refusing to hire a pregnant woman to firing a female employee who gave birth because she exercises her right to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act. An employer should treat a pregnant employee the same as any other employee and provide them with any reasonable accommodations they need to accomplish their work duties.
A person’s sexual orientation, which is their identity concerning their sexual preferences, is protected from workplace discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. For example, an employer is not allowed to use sexual orientation as a basis for demoting an employee.
People who have a disability are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Whether the disability is short-term or long-term, employers are required to work with employees who have a disability and provide them with any reasonable accommodations needed to perform their jobs.
Religious discrimination is not allowed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Fair Employment and Housing Act. An employer cannot treat an employee differently based upon their religious beliefs and must provide reasonable accommodations to an employee to observe their religious holidays. Other practices, such as wearing religious clothing, should be accommodated whenever reasonable.
Why You Need a Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyer
An experienced attorney can help in numerous ways:
- They can provide completely confidential legal advice
- They can verify whether you are likely the victim of discrimination
- They can explain your legal options
- They can work with you to develop strategies for protecting yourself and asserting your rights
- They can help you gather the evidence you will need to support your case
- They can handle the legal paperwork if you decide to proceed with your claim
If you think you may be the victim of discrimination, a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer can help you find a way forward.
What is the Law Regarding Discrimination in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles employers and employees are governed by both federal and California state employment laws that prohibit any discriminatory employment practices. The main federal and state anti-discrimination laws include the following:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Equal Pay Act
- The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
There is considerable overlap between federal and state law, but victims of discrimination should be aware that California law often provides broader protection than federal law. For example, federal law often applies only to employers with 15 or more employees, while California law applies to employers with as few as 5 employees. Thankfully, you do not need to figure out which law applies to your case – an experienced Los Angeles discrimination attorney can do that for you.
How Much Does a Discrimination Case Cost?
Different law firms charge for their fees differently. Some may charge their clients on an hourly basis, billed in tenths of an hour. Some may bill on a flat fee basis – for example, they may charge one fee to prepare and file your complaint. Other firms may bill on a contingency fee basis, where their fees are paid from a portion of whatever damages they are able to recover on your behalf. Do not hesitate to ask a lawyer you are considering retaining how they charge for their fees and what they estimate it will cost to handle your case.
That said, you should also be aware that you may be entitled to reimbursement of your legal fees, court costs, and other expenses in the event that you prevail. This can be very helpful if you have to pay your attorney’s fees upfront.
What Are the Remedies for Employment Discrimination in Los Angeles?
If you are a victim of employment discrimination in Los Angeles, the remedies that are available to you depend on your specific circumstances. This includes (but is not limited to) whether your lawyer recommends filing a claim with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the EEOC. Generally speaking, however, the remedies that are available in employment discrimination cases include:
- Hiring or promotion (if you were wrongfully denied a job opportunity on a discriminatory basis);
- Reinstatement (if you were demoted or terminated in violation of your legal rights);
- Reasonable accommodations (if you were denied a reasonable accommodation for your disability);
- Compensation for loss of income and benefits (including both back pay and front pay);
- Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses and legal fees;
- Compensation for emotional distress;
- Punitive damages (if your employer, or prospective employer, engaged in willful or malicious discrimination); and
- Other appropriate remedies such as training or changes to an employer’s policies and procedures.
Not all remedies will be available in all cases, and, in many instances, employees (or former employees) will need to decide which remedies they want to pursue. For example, if you were denied a job opportunity or wrongfully terminated, do you still want to work for the company? Or would you rather receive compensation and pursue a different career opportunity? These types of questions require careful consideration, and if you have a workplace discrimination claim, you will want to rely on your lawyer’s advice to make informed decisions.
Contact a Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyer For Legal Assistance
If you believe you are the victim of workplace discrimination, contact a Los Angeles discrimination attorney at our firm today by filling out our intake form. We look forward to reviewing your case to determine the best way we can serve you.