California Discrimination Laws and How To Bring a Lawsuit Using a Lawyer | Employee Rights Law Firm

Aug 1, 2022
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workplace discrimination attorney

California Discrimination Laws and How To Bring a Lawsuit Using a Lawyer

Discrimination in the workplace is unfortunately all too common. If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination, you may be wondering how to bring a lawsuit. The first step is to understand the laws that protect employees from discrimination.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on certain protected characteristics. The law applies to employers with five or more employees, including state and local government entities.

Discrimination is defined as treating someone differently in a negative way because of their membership in a protected class. Harassment is a form of discrimination that involves unwelcome conduct that is either severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment.

Some of the protected characteristics under FEHA include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • Marital status
  • National origin
  • Gender identity
  • Age (40 or older)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Genetic information
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)

Proof of workplace discrimination could consist of demonstrating that certain employee groups are treated differently from others. It could also involve sudden changes in an employer’s attitude toward an employee upon learning that the individual belongs to a protected group.

These possible indicators of discrimination may include:

  • Exclusion from gatherings and activities
  • Change in work tasks or increased workload
  • Reduced hours or reduced pay (no equal pay)
  • Not considering candidates with ethnic-sounding names
  • Sudden and unexpected changes to performance reviews
  • Different rules are applied to workers of different ethnicities
  • Making light of a person’s pronunciation or sexual orientation
  • Management’s failure to stop racist or sexist jokes in the workplace

Employers who are in the same protected class as the employee can still discriminate. For example, an African American boss can discriminate against an African American employee or applicant. A female employer can discriminate against a female applicant because of her gender.

If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, you should first try to resolve the issue with your employer. If that is not possible, or if the problem is severe and or you have been terminated, you can file a complaint with our employment lawyers, who will review your case.

If you decide to file a lawsuit, it is important to consult with our experienced employment discrimination lawyers. Our team can help you understand the legal process and increase your chances of success. Contact us today for a free consultation.