Irvine Discrimination Lawyer
All employers in the United States must abide by the federal employment statutes upheld by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It is illegal for any US employer to discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of their personal protected qualities, such as race, religion, skin color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, medical status, and other similar characteristics. Unfortunately, thousands of people working in all industries of the US economy experience various forms of discrimination, often without realizing they have grounds for legal recourse.
Compassionate Legal Representation for Irvine Employment Discrimination Claims
California Employment Counsel, APC, can provide the legal representation you need when you believe an employer in Irvine has illegally discriminated against you in any way. The term “discrimination” is quite broad when used in employment law, and it can apply to any situation in which an employer bases a job-related decision on an employee’s or applicant’s personal protected qualities. Discrimination also occurs when an employer displays favoritism to certain employees in a discriminatory manner. If you’re unsure whether a recent experience with an employer in Irvine qualifies as discrimination, our team will listen to your story and let you know if we can help you.
Understanding EEOC Discrimination Laws in the United States
There are many possible forms of workplace discrimination a person might experience in any industry:
- Sex-based discrimination is one of the most commonly reported forms of employment discrimination in the United States. This occurs whenever an employee is subjected to unfair and adverse treatment on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, pregnancy, or other similar factors. In addition, sex-based discrimination commonly pertains to other workplace legal issues like sexual harassment.
- Age discrimination occurs whenever an employer refuses to hire applicants in a certain age range or treats employees in a certain age range adversely compared to their treatment of others.
- Racial or ethnic discrimination occurs when an employer makes job-related decisions on the basis of race, skin color, ethnicity, or national origin. For example, refusing to hire applicants of a certain race or treating employees of a certain race worse than others are clear examples of race-based discrimination an employee might face at work.
- Medical discrimination pertains to employee medical status, genetic information, perceived medical conditions, and disabilities. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is likely to come into play in any discrimination case involving a disabled employee.
- Religious discrimination occurs when employers make job-related decisions on the basis of religion, spiritual beliefs, cultural practices, and religious observations. Religious freedom is one of the most carefully protected rights in the United States, and the EEOC takes claims of religious discrimination very seriously.
It is also unlawful for US employers to discriminate on the basis of military service or political affiliation. No matter what type of discrimination you experienced, there are three elements of discrimination you must establish to succeed with your recovery efforts:
- An employment-related decision was made not on the basis of merit or the employee’s job performance.
- The employee experienced harassment and adverse treatment because of the employer’s discrimination.
- The employer retaliated against the employee’s attempt to assert their anti-discrimination rights.
Employees have the right to report discrimination and demand resolutions to their adverse experiences without fear of losing their jobs. US employers are legally obligated to investigate internal claims of EEOC violations and resolve them appropriately, but when they actively work against their employees or are directly responsible for the discrimination employees experience, those affected need legal counsel they can trust to help them navigate their options for legal recourse.
Filing an EEOC Complaint
Anyone affected by workplace discrimination must prepare for a difficult series of legal proceedings to ensure accountability for their experience. Before a civil claim for damages can be filed against an employer for workplace discrimination, the employee must first submit a formal complaint to the EEOC, and the agency must approve the claim. In most cases, a claimant has 180 days from the date an incident of discrimination occurred to file their EEOC complaint.
Your Irvine discrimination attorney can assist you in filing your claim, ensuring any clerical or procedural errors do not delay it. The EEOC will usually deliver a response within 180 days of filing the claim. In the interim, your legal team can advise you on how to best prepare yourself for your impending case against your employer. You may face a difficult job search and incur various economic losses due to the discrimination you experienced, and you must carefully track all of these expenses so you can include them in your claim against your employer.
When the EEOC receives a complaint of workplace discrimination, they have several methods of investigating the claim. For example, they may directly contact the employer for their statement, conduct onsite investigations, and conduct interviews with parties related to the claim. If the EEOC determines the claim is valid, the agency can either initiate legal proceedings against the defendant on behalf of the claimant or issue a Notice of Right to Sue to the claimant that allows them to proceed with a civil claim.
Damages and Compensation in Employment Discrimination Cases
Succeeding with any employment discrimination case can be very difficult. Employers who knowingly take discriminatory actions against their employees are generally cautious enough to disguise their real motivations, often leaving little tangible evidence of their intentions. Working with an Irvine discrimination attorney is the best way to prove the truth behind your recent experience. California Employment Counsel, APC, is prepared to assist you in gathering the evidence needed to substantiate your claim and file it with the EEOC as swiftly as possible.
Proving the truth of your claim is just one of the major obstacles you are going to face in a discrimination case. You will also need reliable legal counsel if you want to maximize the total compensation you obtain from your employer. Many people who experience workplace discrimination lose their jobs and experience a wide range of adverse economic effects. While they may be able to recognize some of these losses as claimable damages in a discrimination claim, the right attorney will help their client fully explore all their available channels of compensation.
Your Irvine discrimination attorney can help you recover the full scope of damages the defendant in your case caused. These can include:
- Lost income. If you lost your job due to wrongful termination or any other discrimination you experienced, your employer could be liable for the pay you were unable to earn. This can include the difference between your prior position’s pay and the amount you make at a new job you were compelled to take because of their discrimination.
- Lost benefits. Most employees have health insurance through their employers, and if you are discriminated against and either fired illegally or forced to leave your job, you may incur medical expenses due to losing employer-provided coverage. If this applies in your situation, California Employment Counsel, APC, will help you hold the defendant accountable for the full value of lost benefits resulting from the discrimination you experienced.
- Job search expenses. If you lost your job because of discrimination and were forced to seek new employment, your former employer could be liable for application fees, costs associated with temp placement services, and transportation costs for attending interviews. A good attorney can help their client track these expenses after experiencing discrimination.
- Emotional distress compensation. If an employer violated EEOC laws and discriminated against you in any way, this is likely to have caused a great deal of emotional suffering. Since their action was intentional, state law permits you to seek compensation for the emotional distress they intentionally inflicted upon you. Your attorney will help you determine a suitable amount based on the severity of your experience.
When you have the right attorney handling your case, you may be surprised to discover you can claim much more compensation than you initially expected. California Employment Counsel, APC, understands how daunting it can be to face your employer in a discrimination claim and the many challenges you must overcome before you can even legally file your claim. Our goal is to help you approach this difficult situation with confidence, make informed decisions throughout your case, and reach the best possible case award that appropriately compensates for your experience.
A successful employment discrimination claim may yield substantial compensation for the affected employee and potentially prevent others from experiencing similar mistreatment in the future. In addition, the EEOC can recommend various penalties for an employer found to have violated federal anti-discrimination laws, such as fines, additional compensatory damages to the victim, and compulsory implementation of more rigid workplace anti-discrimination policies.
Every discrimination case is unique, and choosing an Irvine discrimination attorney familiar with cases like yours is vital. The team at California Employment Counsel, APC, specializes in helping clients in Irvine and surrounding communities of California navigate state and federal workplace discrimination laws and file their claims for unlawful treatment from their employers. If you believe you have grounds for an employment discrimination case, contact California Employment Counsel, APC, to schedule a consultation with an Irvine discrimination attorney you can trust.