California Employment Discrimination
Many California employees face illegal discrimination in the workplace every day. Employers should be held accountable for their wrongdoing. If you have been discriminated against at your job based on such characteristics as race, gender, age or some other protected category, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. At the law offices of Arias, Ozzello & Gignac LLP, our experienced employment law attorneys will aggressively fight to protect your rights. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
What is Employment Discrimination?
Both California and federal law prohibit an employer from discriminating against an employee on the basis of a “protected category,” such as race or gender. If the category is not listed in one of the applicable statutes, then the employee is not protected. For example, if your employer just does not like your personality or wants to promote a family member instead of you, there is no discrimination. You must prove that one of the protected categories is motivating your employer to take adverse action against you in order to show discrimination. The employer’s adverse action must also affect a “term or condition” of employment. This means just about anything related to someone’s job, such as:
- hours of work
- working conditions and work locations
Types of Employment Discrimination
California and federal law prohibit discrimination in employment based on the following categories:
- Age: Discrimination on the basis of age in the workplace is prohibited by the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). These laws apply to employees that are 40 years of age or older. For example, it is not discriminatory to refuse to hire someone because they are too young.
- Disability: The Federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s FEHA make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against a qualified individual because of his or her disability. The worker must have a disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities, but he or she must be able to do the job. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to allow the employee to perform his or her work.
- Race: It is illegal under federal and California law to discriminate on the basis of a person’s race or color. Race is generally defined as a person’s ancestry or ethnic characteristics.
- Sexual orientation: It is illegal under California’s FEHA for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of that employee’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. There are no federal laws prohibiting this type of discrimination.
- National origin: Prohibits employment discrimination against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and authorized aliens because of national origin. This category is protected under the Federal Immigration Reform and Control Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Religious: It is illegal under both federal and California law to discriminate on the basis of a person’s religious beliefs or practices. Employers must make reasonable accommodations of an employee’s religious beliefs or practices in the workplace, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the employer.
- Pregnancy: Discrimination based on pregnancy is prohibited by California’s FEHA and Federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It includes discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
- Gender / sex: Sex discrimination consists of an employer treating an employee or employees differently because of their gender. This includes issues such as equal pay, stereotyping, and gender roles.
California Employment Discrimination Attorney
If you have been discriminated against by your employer in any of the categories described above, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible. At the law offices of Arias, Ozzello & Gignac LLP, we will protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.