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Discrimination And California Employment Law Protections

According to a study of hospital workers published in the journal Race and Social Problems, being a victim of unlawful workplace discrimination based on race or ethnicity may harm mental health, causing depression or lowering self-esteem. Unlawful sex discrimination in the workplace is linked to the risk of using drugs as a coping mechanism.

That said, let's talk about discrimination and how they're handled by California Labor Law Attorneys.

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When Is It Time to Talk To A Labor Law Attorney In California?

Your California Workplace Discrimination Lawyer is your personal protection against discrimination and harassment. So, if you suspect harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in any way, you'll want to ensure your evidence is preserved and you report the illegal actions to the proper agencies.

Hiring a discrimination lawyer in California is also enough to show your employer you're serious about the potential claim. Your lawyer will also help you send demand letters, assist you in settlement negotiations, and represent you should things escalate to a lawsuit.

That said, if you're unsure whether your claim qualifies as employment discrimination in California, you should have a lawyer assess your case and see your legal options. But, for now, you can also read on for a quick intro to the different types of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

What is Workplace Discrimination and Harassment In California?

Much of the research about how prejudice (the unfair treatment of individuals based on protected attributes such as ethnicity, gender, or disability, or significant life choices such as religion) harms individual victims and society as a whole are publicly accessible. Both federal and California laws make it unlawful to discriminate in the workplace based on essential attributes and include legal recourse for redress.

Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited on the following grounds, for example:

If the employee is otherwise eligible for the work, an employer may be required to make appropriate accommodations for a protected characteristic. For example, a workstation may be modified to accommodate a person with a physical impairment or a person whose religious expression requires such dress or grooming practices to be permitted even though it is otherwise prohibited.

According to anti-discrimination law, an employer may not retaliate against an employee who has registered or filed a case for discrimination or harassment or who has cooperated in a related investigation or litigation. Negative actions such as dismissal, assault, or demotion are examples of retaliation.

Although federal anti-discrimination laws extend to private employers with at least 15 workers, California applies to even smaller private employers with five or more employees and, in cases of harassment, even one employee.

Since employment discrimination is such a complicated area of the law, a claimant can speak with an experienced California workplace discrimination lawyer as soon as possible. This is so they can get guidance on how to communicate with the employer and learn about their legal rights and remedies.

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What Are The Types of Workplace Discrimination In California?

Many aspects of one's personality are legally shielded. These are some of the most common types of claims handled by Workplace Harassment Lawyer in Los Angeles, although they are not exhaustive:

1. Disability Discrimination

Discriminating against a worker because of a physical or mental disability is illegal. Short-term and long-term disabilities are also possible. Employers must offer appropriate accommodations to disabled workers and participate in good faith negotiations with them to decide what accommodations are required.

Staff with physical and mental disabilities are well-protected under California law. These protections cover both long-term and short-term disabilities. Employers who discriminate against workers who are disabled or have a history of disability are breaking the law. Employers must also provide fair work accommodations to workers with disabilities to assist them in performing their employment.

Discrimination against disabled people can take many forms, with the following being some of the most common:

  • Disabled employees are terminated or demoted because of their disability

  • Forcing disabled employees to resign because of their disability

  • Requiring disabled employees to perform duties or assume roles that are in violation of their medical limitations

  • Refusing to give disabled employees time off to seek medical attention

  • Refusing to treat disabled staff in a humane way. Allowing disabled workers to change their work schedules or hours, changing disabled workers' job duties, and supplying disabled workers with special equipment or aids are all examples of reasonable accommodations.

  • Disabled employees who seek accommodations are being retaliated against.

  • Because of their disability, employers are refusing to hire eligible work applicants(s)

California law has recently been extended to include rights to non-disabled workers who need accommodation to care for a disabled family member in some cases.

What Conditions Are Considered "Disabilities"?

Disability is described in California's Fair Employment and Housing Act as any physical or mental disorder that restricts one or more major life activities/tasks. Unlike the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, California law does not require a "substantial" restriction on major life activities, making it much easier to register as disabled in California than in most other states.

Basic physical, emotional, and social habits such as walking, standing, bending, raising, performing other manual tasks, seeing, listening, communicating, reading, studying, and focusing are all considered "major life activities."

The following are some of the most common conditions that are classified as disabilities:

  • Broken bones, broken tendons, and back injuries are all common injuries.

  • Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

  • Extreme migraine headaches, epilepsy, and nervous system disturbances are examples of neurological impairments.

  • Mental or psychiatric disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or clinical depression

  • Disabilities in vision, voice, and hearing

  • Some allergic reactions and respiratory problems, such as asthma, are unavoidable.

  • Crohn's disease and other gastrointestinal disorders

  • Disorders of the blood

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome and muscular dystrophy

An employee may be deemed disabled in such situations if he or she has a previous history of these conditions (even if he or she has recovered) or if his or her employer believes the person is disabled (even if this is incorrect).

What Are the Employer's Responsibilities When They Have Disabled Employees?

The law requires employers to make fair exceptions for the staff or work applicants with recognized disabilities. It is unlawful for an employer to refuse to offer fair accommodations to an employee who is still capable of performing his job but requires them and then fire or threaten the employee for failing to perform.

The required fair accommodation is assessed on a case-by-case basis and based on the type of impairment at hand and the type of work done by the employee.

The following is a partial list of alternative accommodations:

  • Employment reorganization or changes in job responsibilities

  • Providing flexible job schedules

  • Reassignment to an open job position

  • Allowing an employee to take a leave of absence for required medical attention or to recover

  • Purchase or modification of equipment or tools to assist an employee in performing his or her duties

  • Providing services that are open to and usable by people with disabilities

  • Exams, instructional materials, and procedures are being changed or updated.

  • Assisting in the execution of work duties that are impaired by the impairment

The Interactive Process

When an employer learns of a need for accommodation, it must engage in a "good faith interactive process" with the employee to negotiate options.

The employee and the boss are expected to have a conversation about the problems that bother him or her and any appropriate accommodations that could be made to remedy those issues. The employer must study and consider the employee's limitations, compare them to the employee's job or other available employment, and figure out how to work around them. An employer who does not participate in the interactive process or participates in an inadequate process can be found to violate the law.

2. Discrimination based on age

Employers who discriminate against employees based on their age are breaking the law. Employees over the age of 40 are shielded from prejudice or being forced out of work because of their age.