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What Does Workplace Discrimination Look Like in California?

Updated: Jun 14

Learn How to Spot The Major Signs Of Workplace Discrimination

All are entitled to a respectful and discrimination-free workplace. Discrimination, on the other hand, takes many forms and persists to this day. Discrimination can take many forms, ranging from rude remarks and microaggressions to outright abuse and revenge. You can lose promotions as a result of your employer's abuse. Discriminatory behavior can cause you a lot of mental and emotional pain.

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You will feel helpless to battle the people who sign your paychecks because most of us need a job to live. You don't have to take all of it, though. If you've been discriminated against at work, you'll need an Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles on your side to fight for you and your employment. Don't suffer in silence when the boss engages in criminal activity.

What Are the Anti-Discrimination Laws?

Discrimination in the workplace is covered by both state and federal legislation. California is one of the most employee-friendly states in the world, if not the most.

However, not all forms of discrimination are illegal. To file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer, you must be a member of a protected class. Any prejudice you've faced needs to be based on your safe identity.

What Is a Protected Class and How Does It Work?

Protected classes are categories that have experienced discrimination in the past. These classes are also afforded special legal protection. We have a few articles on the most common workplace discrimination claims against protected classes, which are as follows:

Anti-discrimination laws at the federal level

To ensure that everyone's rights are secured, anti-discrimination laws have been passed over time for civil rights and public policy. These laws make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of:

  • Race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and membership in a Native American tribe are all protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (CRA).

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or other associated circumstances, including termination or miscarriage, are covered under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).

  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against people over the age of 40.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities.

  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA) – equal pay for equal work

  • Citizenship status or national origin under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)

  • Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866

  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits discrimination based on genetic information

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the United States Department of Justice are in charge of enforcing federal discrimination laws (DOJ)

Every statute has its own set of legal specifications. The Equal Pay Act, for example, is broad in scope and extends to almost all employers. Local governments, job agencies, trade unions, and private companies with 15 or more workers are covered by the ADA.

A Los Angeles Employment Lawyer who specializes in work and labor law will assist you in understanding your rights.

What is the Best Place to File a Discrimination Lawsuit?

When it comes to filing a discrimination case, location is crucial. Under federal law, all lawsuits that occur on federal lands, such as military bases, will be heard in federal court. As a result, the rights could be weaker than in state court.

Employee claimants in states like California have a lot more leeway than they do in federal courts. In order for a federal civil trial to be successful, the jury must make a unanimous decision. In California, however, only 3/4 of the jury must agree with your point.

What Are Some Examples of Workplace Discrimination?

If you are subjected to negative consequences or unjust or unfair treatment because of your protected features, this is known as unlawful discrimination. Direct or indirect, deliberate or unintentional, discrimination can take many forms.

When your employer attacks you directly because of your protected trait, this is known as direct discrimination. This may entail:

  • Terminating your contract or firing you

  • Choosing not to recruit you or demote you

  • Refusing to provide you with any instruction or protective equipment

  • You are being denied promotions or being written up for disciplinary action.

  • Forcing you to resign or evicting you

  • Paying you less, lowering your wage, or refusing to provide you with fair pay and benefits

  • Offensive comments and jokes are used to create a hostile work environment.

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It's more difficult to prove indirect discrimination than overt discrimination. Your employer could defend themselves by doing the following:

  • Claiming that their policy was logically justified due to a legitimate business necessity, such as a health or safety concern

  • Demonstrating that their strategy was a proportionate means of achieving their objectives.

The facts of each discrimination case determine the outcome. Microaggressions are a form of discrimination that can be difficult to prove in court. Discriminatory conduct may be a company-wide phenomenon or an institutional problem. Discrimination may also start at the top, with managers who model and perpetuate bad behavior.

It can be intimidating to be up against such odds. For the sake of your future, you might be tempted to put your head down. However, you do not have to put up with this kind of treatment at work. We're here to assist you in putting an end to it and obtaining the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Discrimination Based on Race

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits racial discrimination in the workplace. This is a federal rule that applies to every state in the country. Employers are prohibited by Title VII from:

  • If you don't want to recruit anyone, don't hire them.

  • An employee may be disciplined or fired.

  • Pay a lower salary or offer fewer benefits to an employee.

  • Employees are not given chances or promotions.

  • Employees or candidates are improperly labeled or separated.

  • Because of their ancestry, ethnicity, color, or national origin (this could refer to a person's appearance, birthplace, or ancestry).

While applying for or starting a job, you might have filled out a form with racial details. Since affirmative action policies allow employers to inquire about race, this is the case. As long as you are not required to respond, and no decisions are taken based on the details you provide, this is legal.

Employers with 15 or more staff are subject to Title VII. Local, state, and federal governments, as well as private and public universities, are all included. Employment organizations are prohibited from making referrals or assigning jobs based on ethnicity under Title VII. Labor unions are also prohibited from discriminating against members based on race. It is also against the law to discriminate against you because of your spouse's race.

Title VII covers both intentional discrimination and neutral policies that result in discrimination. Direct and indirect discrimination are terms used to describe these situations. If any of this confuses you, consult a Los Angeles Employment Attorney to help with your case.

California's Anti-Racial Discrimination Law

Companies that are not covered by federal legislation are covered by California state law. As a result, workers in California are better protected. Any employer with five or more workers is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or ethnicity under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Ethnicity refers to a person's cultural traits depending on where they were born or where their ancestors originated from. For Native Americans, this requires tribal membership. This may include:

  • Your given name

  • The languages you can communicate in

  • Your religion's relation to your society

The FEHA also prohibits racial or ethnic harassment of any employee, candidate, contractor, or unpaid volunteer. Consider one of our prescreened California Employment Attorneys in your California Attorney Search.

Racial Discrimination in Its Many Forms

When you are handled differently because of your race, this is known as direct discrimination. This is also known as unequal care. The following are some examples of overt ethnic discrimination:

  • A hiring manager might rule out candidates with certain names

  • Being left out of projects or groups because you "don't belong"

  • Your colleagues make remarks about your appearance or customs

  • Using racial slurs or making offensive remarks in the workplace

  • Racial harassment in the workplace that produces a hostile work atmosphere is also prohibited.

Indirect Racial Discrimination Examples

Even when workers do not intend to discriminate, indirect racial discrimination may occur. Treating everybody the same can often put a group of people at a disadvantage. On the surface, a company policy may appear to be "reasonable," but it may be detrimental when implemented.

  • A company dress code can be incompatible with your cultural attire.

  • Certain ethnic categories can be disqualified as a result of hiring criteria.

Discrimination isn't always obvious. People seldom confess to acting in response to discrimination. Your boss might invent a new excuse, casting doubt on your work ethic or character. This could damage your reputation and cost you potential employment opportunities.

What if you weren't even considered fo