To be discriminated against in the workplace would be a distressing experience that nobody would want to live through. Discrimination in the workplace is protected against by both California and federal law which makes it illegal for the employer to treat their employees with prejudice based on their race, skin color, age, gender and gender preference, religion, disability, and other personal characteristics that are protected by law.
Those who are unfortunate enough to be victims of workplace discrimination may find comfort and justice with the help of an employment discrimination lawyer at Mesriani Law Group. We will help ensure that you have the highest chances of receiving the maximum compensation for your lost pay and benefits, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Here are shortcuts to the specific topics:
- 1. Employment Discrimination Lawyer & Attorney in Los Angeles
- 2. Do I Need an Employment Discrimination Lawyer?
- 3. Why Choose Mesriani Law Group?
- 4. Types of Unlawful Discrimination in the Workplace
- 5. What Qualifies as Employment Discrimination?
- 6. Understanding Favoritism or Preferential Treatment in the Workplace
- 8. How Do You File an Employment Discrimination Complaint in California?
- 9. What is the EEOC?
- 10. Building a Workplace Discrimination Case Against Your Employer
- 11. How Can You Prove Employment Discrimination?
- 12. Contact Mesriani Law Group If You Have Been a Victim of Employment Discrimination
- 13. Employment Discrimination Lawyer FAQs
Do I Need an Employment Discrimination Lawyer?
Employment discrimination doesn’t always happen as visibly and clearly as one might have thought, which makes it difficult for the victim to determine if his or her rights were violated. This is typically why an individual needs an employment discrimination lawyer, to help identify and build a workplace discrimination lawsuit. Experiencing discrimination is emotionally and mentally draining and may result in actions that could lead to the employee’s forced resignation leaving the employee helpless and poorly compensated.
Seeking counsel and hiring an experienced and well-versed employment discrimination lawyer would guarantee a thorough assessment of your situation determining which unlawful acts committed by your employer is punishable by law and can lead to a lawsuit.
Why Choose Mesriani Law Group?
While there may be numerous legal counsel options for employment discrimination claims, choosing the right representation for your specific situation is essential to obtaining successful results. At Mesriani Law Group, we provide our clients with the following:
Types of Discrimination in the Workplace
As much as you want to have a stress-free work environment there would be an undeniable possibility of an unfortunate circumstance that you could experience unlawful discrimination at work. Below are the following types of discrimination in the workplace which includes:
- Disability Discrimination is the prejudiced treatment against an employee or applicant because of his/her physical and mental disability or record of an impairment that limits one or more of the major life activities.
- Age Discrimination is the ageism treatment from an employer of the employee or applicant aged over 40 years.
- Gender Discrimination is the stereotype treatment against an employee or applicant because of their gender or gender identity and based on the gendered assumptions on what women cannot do that men can and vice-versa.
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination is the narrow-mindedness view regarding the sexual orientation or preference of the employee or applicant which leads to biased decisions for promotion, incentives, and treatment.
- Pregnancy Discrimination is the unfair treatment toward expecting or new mothers to avoid fulfilling their obligation to provide the right to leave and accommodations for breastfeeding and other related needs.
- Racial Discrimination is the unfair preference of the employer against the employee or applicant’s race, skin color, physical racial attributes, ancestry, or national origin.
- Religious Discrimination is the vile bigotry towards one’s religious beliefs, practices, and preferences such as religious clothing, observance, holidays, and the like which often leads to arguments and harassment at the workplace.
- Marital Status Discrimination is the prejudiced treatment towards the marital status or perceived marital status: whether married, single, engaged, in a same sex relationship, widowed, divorced, and so on of an applicant or employee.
What Qualifies as Employment Discrimination?
To recognize and determine that your employer’s actions are considered workplace discrimination, you should be aware and have a clear understanding of the certain incidents, behaviors, and conduct that qualify as discrimination. Identifying discrimination will enable you to take immediate action on the next legal step. Below are the following actions or behaviors that qualify as employment discrimination:
- Moving forward with a less qualified applicant for hiring while passing over an individual due to prejudice against a protected class
- Leaving out people under-protected class during the recruitment
- Unfair treatment towards pregnant employees and applicants
- Holding off on promotions, salary raises, and other benefits for certain employees under the protected class
- Unequal treatment and biased accommodation to employees who filed for medical leave, disability leave, or retirement leave who are under the protected class
- Depriving reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities
- Being unfairly biased in imposing stricter and unattainable rules and requirements to employees in a protected class
- Forcing an employee to resign for reasons based on discrimination
These are a few examples of actions that qualify as employment discrimination. It is important to remember that discrimination refers to any form of unfair treatment of one person from another, regardless of position or status within the company. Employment and workplace discrimination can be committed by coworkers, independent contractors, clients, and leadership. If you are hesitant whether your actions at work can be considered unlawful or if it qualifies as employment discrimination, you could always call and consult with an employment discrimination attorney.
Understanding Favoritism or Preferential Treatment in the Workplace
Favoritism or preferential treatment happens when one person is treated much better than others by leadership. This is a certain occurrence that we all experience at some point, which often happens in the workplace. Having a favorite or preference is not necessarily bad, and we all have the freedom to do so. An example would be preferring to hire a relative or a friend to fulfill the job vacancy. While this action is not illegal by itself, it may be bad for optics if someone extremely unqualified is hired to fill the role when there are more qualified applicants. However, if there were applicants that were far more qualified and part of a protected class, then the argument could be made that discrimination played a factor in the decision-making. This is why employment discrimination cases can be complex and may even be overlooked as a potential claim.
When Preferential Treatment Becomes Illegal
An example of preferential treatment would be when an employer gives a specific employee more incentives and leeway than the others even though that employee is not performing well enough to deserve such rewards. This may seem unfair, but it would otherwise be acceptable for the employer as no employment laws are being broken. Correspondingly if the employer treats an employee differently because of their age, gender, nationality, religion, skin color, or any other protected class, then the preferential treatment becomes employment discrimination and is considered unlawful.
What Laws Protect Against Employment Discrimination
There are several state and federal laws enforced by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) that protect every employee from employment discrimination, below are some examples:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Protects employees and applicants from discrimination based on racial type, skin color, religious belief, gender, and national origin. Title VII covers and protects the assessments on recruitment, candidate selections, terminations, and other decisions concerning requisites of employment.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 – Protects male and female employees from gender-based discrimination in the matter of the payment of wages and benefits. This applies to employees who are in the same company or employment and perform jobs of equal skills, labor, and responsibility under similar working conditions.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 – Protects employees or applicants who are 40 years of age or older from age-based employment discrimination.
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Protects qualified employees and applicants with disabilities from discrimination. This requires the employers to make reasonable accommodations to their employee’s needs related to their disabilities.
- California Fair Employment and Housing Act – State law that protects California employees against employment discrimination based on the protected class and retaliation against anyone for opposing any activities prohibited by FEHA or for submitting a complaint, giving a testimony, or assisting in activities under the FEHA.
How Do You File an Employment Discrimination Complaint in California?
In California, employment discrimination complaints fall under the jurisdiction of two agencies: DFEH – Department of Fair Employment and Housing and EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These agencies have a work-sharing agreement signifying that they collaborate, as long as you indicate a cross-file, to investigate and process claims for employment discrimination.
The DFEH handles claims against employers with under 15 employees, while the EEOC handles claims against employers with more than 15 employees and falls under the umbrella of federal law.
Victims of employment discrimination are usually obliged to use all administrative remedies first through DFEH or EEOC before they can file a lawsuit. You can request an immediate right to sue notice, but your claim will not be investigated by either the DFEH or EEOC which is only advisable if you have an attorney. Your employment discrimination attorney can secure a right to sue notice and file your case in California courts and in the state where the violation occurred. Upon filing the lawsuit, a complaint will be served upon your employer as a defendant, after which the employer’s formal response to the allegations will lead the case to proceed through litigation.
What is the EEOC?
The EEOC or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a federal governed agency created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) whose main purpose is to clarify and enforce federal laws criminalizing employment discrimination. Some of the federal laws that criminalize employment discrimination that the eeoc.gov. administers are:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- Equal Pay Act
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
Building a Workplace Discrimination Case Against Your Employer
Providing essential and valid proof that the workplace discrimination that took place requires that you gather as much evidence as you can. This includes concrete examples that specific people are receiving incentives and perks, access to training, and promotion of a higher role and salary, which were not granted to you on the grounds that you belong to a protected class. Preferential treatment may be a factor in choosing who gets these benefits, but whether or not it is an unlawful action depends on if they based their decisions on prejudices against a protected class.
In building a workplace discrimination case against your employer, consider the following situations in gathering concrete proof:
- The management and/or supervisor typically overlook employees with certain attributes which are under the protected class such as gender, age, and race when deciding on the approval and distribution of bonuses and/or promotions.
- The people who got promoted or given additional perks have a questionable job performance record.
- The management and/or employer has a track record of sexual harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace and was not legally dealt with.
- The management instantly made a judgement against a certain employee who happen to be in a protected class, even without hearing their explanation or reason.
- The management became stricter and biased with your promotion and workload after you have reported an illegal activity or participated in an investigation against them.
How Can You Prove Employment Discrimination?
An employee who’s been a victim of employment discrimination may find it hard to prove that they are discriminated against because of the evidence that they need to provide. It is extremely unlikely that the employer would openly admit that they have committed any unlawful acts so employees are given the chance to prove an employment discrimination case with 2 types of evidence:
- Direct Evidence: These include statements by managers or supervisors that directly show the biased treatment against you and your protected class status.
- Indirect Evidence: These are the circumstances, scenarios, and actions that infer that there was discrimination against you and your protected class. While there might not be an explicit statement made that shows prejudice, the actions of leadership can highlight discrimination. This can often be proven when an action was taken under motives that later proved to be false or made no sense.
Contact Mesriani Law Group If You Have Been a Victim of Employment Discrimination
Experiencing discrimination at the workplace firsthand is not something you should take on all on your own. If you are a victim of such an unlawful act, contact our Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer for a consultation. Give us a call at (310) 826-6300 or message us online to schedule a free consultation.
Employment Discrimination Lawyer FAQs
What qualifies as employment discrimination?
Employment discrimination can be described as any unfair treatment that is prompted by prejudice against a protected class. These protected classes include age, race, ethnicity, nation of origin, religion, disability, pregnancy, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and family status.
What are some examples of employment discrimination?
Examples of employment discrimination include not getting hired or promoted, dealing with harassment or inappropriate behavior, being fired, and being denied benefits. If each of these actions were done to unfairly impact a protected class in a negative manner, it would be a potential employment discrimination claim.
What are the 4 types of employment discrimination?
The 4 types of employment discrimination are direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Direct discrimination is intentionally directed at an individual while indirect implies an environment that (un)intentionally places a protected class at a disadvantage. Harassment is classified as unwelcome activity towards an individual that results in a hostile work environment and retaliation is the result of an individual facing consequences for actions like reporting discrimination or harassment.
What are employers not allowed to ask?
Employers are not allowed to ask about an individual’s age, genetics, birthplace, citizenship, disability, gender, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy status, race, ethnicity, or religion. These types of questions force an employee or applicant to identify themselves as part of a protected class which can unintentionally open them up to discrimination or harassment.