When you go to work in Los Angeles, CA, you deserve to feel comfortable, safe, and respected. If your employer or coworkers intentionally mistreat you because you hold a protected characteristic, this is considered workplace discrimination. Any kind of offensive remarks, rude behaviors, or actions that negatively impact you can all be classified as workplace discrimination. When your place of employment becomes unsafe or unfair because of the people you work with, don’t wait to protect yourself and your rights with the help of our team.
Effective and Empathetic Employment Lawyers
At California Employment Counsel, APC, protecting the rights of California employees is our priority. We believe that every worker should be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of who they are or where they’re from. While discriminatory practices in the workplace are illegal, they are still commonly seen across the country. Our employment attorneys have firsthand experience handling discrimination claims in California and can work with you to ensure that your workplace is held accountable. If you’re searching for reliable employment law assistance in Los Angeles, California Employment Counsel, APC, is here for you.
How Does California Law Define Workplace Discrimination?
General discrimination occurs when prejudicial behavior or unfair treatment is directed at someone who belongs to a legally protected category. Using this definition as its foundation, California employment law states that workplace discrimination occurs when an employer, manager, or employee purposefully mistreats another worker because of their protected status. Discrimination can come in a collection of forms and is a direct violation of an employee’s rights. For example, if the head of a company refuses to promote an employee after finding out their sexual orientation, this is an act of discrimination against that worker.
Understanding Your Rights in the Workplace
California workers carry some of the most in-depth rights of any employees throughout the country. This is because, in addition to federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, California also has meticulous employment legislation that protects workers from unfair treatment. These laws give all California employees the right to file a claim against their employer if they were discriminated against or had other rights violated. This means that, if an employer or any of their workers are found behaving in a discriminatory fashion, they can be held liable in court and ultimately owe the victim compensation.
According to both state and federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on the following protected categories:
Gender and gender identity
Direct vs. Indirect Workplace Discrimination
While discrimination can be hard to characterize because it comes in so many forms, there are two general categories that workplace discrimination can be separated into. These categories are known as direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.
Direct discrimination involves the intentional mistreatment of an employee because they are part of a protected group. This form of discrimination is often easier to identify because it commonly involves blatant negative actions that are directed towards one employee or group. However, this doesn’t mean that direct discrimination can’t be discrete. Any form of discrimination that is intentional, whether noticeable or not, is classified as direct discrimination and is a violation of an employee’s rights. Examples of direct discrimination at work can include:
Your hours were reduced drastically after your boss found out you were pregnant.
A company refused to hire you because of your ethnicity.
You were fired after your company found out you had a disability.
Indirect discrimination often goes unnoticed because it only impacts a small group of people with protected characteristics. In California, indirect discrimination occurs when an employer implements some form of rule or practice that impacts all employees but is only unfair to some of them. This form of discrimination is more difficult for fellow workers to identify because they may remain unharmed while their coworkers are disproportionately affected. Examples of indirect discrimination can be:
A business requires you to make applicants take IQ tests, negatively impacting those with lower scores who can still perform the job.
A construction company implements a weight or height requirement that has nothing to do with the job, ultimately making it harder for women to be hired.
An employer decides that their weekly, mandatory conference meeting is going to be moved upstairs. However, employees with disabilities may not be able to use the stairs to get to the office and should not be punished for missing the meeting.
How Do You Know If You’re Being Discriminated Against?
Many employees struggle to bring up claims against their employers because they’re unsure if their situation qualifies as discrimination. However, workplace discrimination can come in a multitude of forms and often impacts your ability to work or feel comfortable at your job. In fact, discrimination most often involves adverse treatment that negatively impacts you.
Common signs that you are being discriminated against can include:
You are the only employee who had their hours or pay reduced.
You are being excluded from meetings that everyone else attends.
You are not offered the same opportunities or promotions as other workers.
There are rules in place that only harm you or a group of people in a protected category.
You are paid less than others who do the same job.
You are unreasonably written up or have consistently poor job assessments, despite the quality of your work.
Your boss makes fun of your accent, mocks you, or says things like “You wouldn’t understand.”
You made a complaint to HR or your employer about discriminatory behavior from other employees, but they refused to do anything about it.
You were not hired or interviewed because of a protected characteristic.
How Can a Workplace Discrimination Attorney Help You?
Filing a discrimination claim against your employer can be daunting as well as an extremely challenging experience. Because of this, it’s wise to go through the process with an adept employment attorney by your side. By choosing to work with one of our skilled employment lawyers at California Employment Counsel, APC, you can benefit from our:
Client-Focused Support and Guidance
Retaining one of our employment lawyers can provide you with the support and guidance that you need to properly handle a case as serious as workplace discrimination. At California Employment Counsel, APC, we know that filing a discrimination claim can be intimidating. That’s why each of our attorneys is devoted to finding solutions and protecting our clients in difficult situations. While your case may feel impossible, our team is ready to support you and find a way to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
Comprehensive Knowledge of Employment Law
As you’ll quickly learn, employment law can be tough to navigate when you’re unfamiliar with it. Luckily, our employment lawyers share decades of experience and have handled countless discrimination claims here in Southern California. Whether you need help filing a claim against your employer or you’re unsure if you have substantial reason to file a complaint, our comprehensive knowledge of employment law is available for you to benefit from. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out if you’re concerned that your rights have been violated.
Passionate Representation During Trial
All employees deserve to have an attorney who is committed to protecting their rights. At California Employment Counsel, APC, that’s exactly who we are. Our skilled workplace discrimination lawyers are passionate about defending each of our clients and ensuring that their rights are respected. We can represent you and your interests both in and out of court, safeguarding your constitutional rights throughout the entire claim-filing process.
Protect You Against Your Employer’s Attorneys
Most companies, especially large ones, have attorneys on retainer for when employment issues arise. Because of this, it is fundamental that you also retain a skilled lawyer who can fight for your interests during your case. In many cases, the defense attorneys your company hires work solely on combating these kinds of claims. This can make it challenging to prove that discrimination was present but not impossible. Make sure that you have the legal protection you need when filing a discrimination claim by hiring a lawyer.
How Do You File a Claim for Workplace Discrimination in Los Angeles?
If You’re Able to, Report the Behavior to Your Employer First
Depending on the form of discrimination that you have endured, you may be required to report the incident to human resources before you can move forward. However, the state recognizes that it is not always possible to report a claim to HR for various reasons. The main purpose of notifying HR of discrimination is to initiate action within your place of work and hopefully resolve issues at the business level. Unfortunately, many companies do not take steps to fix these problems, and no real changes are made. If issues are left unresolved, this complaint can serve as evidence in the future if you end up taking your claim to court.
Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer
Navigating your way through the employment claim process can be challenging. If you were mistreated at work and are looking to hold your employer accountable for their actions, it’s crucial that you seek legal aid from a team with employment law experience. At California Employment Counsel, APC, we can evaluate your situation and work with you to determine what legal steps you should take. With guidance from an adept lawyer, you can have an easier time filing your claims, gathering evidence, and defending your rights.
File a Claim With the Civil Rights Department
If your employer and HR center are aware of the discrimination you’re enduring and have done nothing, you and your lawyer can move on to file a claim with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD). The CRD, which used to be known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, is where employees must report violations before they go to court. The CRD will evaluate your claim and determine whether you have substantial proof that discrimination occurred. In most cases, the CRD will do everything in its power to settle an employment violation before it makes it to trial. If the CRD finds that no violation actually occurred, they may dismiss your case.
Settle or Move On to Filing a Discrimination Claim
If you submit a valid discrimination claim to the CRD, you can then move forward to file a claim against your employer. With the help of your lawyer, you can either attempt to settle the matter outside of court or let the issue go to trial. If the case makes it to the trial phase, an employee must be able to prove that discrimination took place and that they were negatively impacted by it. The trial phase can last anywhere from a few months to over a year, which is why having an employment lawyer who can defend and guide you is imperative.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Workplace Discrimination Claim?
The statute of limitations may vary for different employment violations. With workplace discrimination, an employee generally has three full years to file an official complaint with the CRD. This means that an employee has three years from the date of the last incident to report it to a state agency. Once that three-year period has passed, the employee no longer has the right to take legal action against their employer.
Take Action Against Your Employer Today
No employee should have to put up with unfair, prejudicial treatment just for a paycheck. If you or someone you love have been a victim of workplace discrimination in Los Angeles, it’s important that you hold your employer accountable. Whether you were fired because of a pregnancy or you were refused an interview because of your race, talk to our passionate employment lawyers to see what legal steps you can take.