Discrimination Attorneys in San Francisco

Discrimination Attorneys in San Francisco

Discrimination Attorneys in San Francisco

Despite efforts to eliminate discrimination in the workplace, data gathered by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) reveals that employees still experience unlawful misconduct at work. The DFEH 2017 Annual Report states that 17,218 individuals filed a complaint or other documentation, demonstrating the prevalence of workplace discrimination.

At Minnis & Smallets LLP, our discrimination attorneys in San Francisco are committed to protecting the rights of employees whose interests are harmed by wrongful acts. We have extensive experience obtaining favorable resolutions for our clients, including taking the matter to court to pursue a worker’s right to compensation.

State and Federal Laws Protect Employees from Discrimination

California employers are prohibited from treating employees differently on account of possessing certain characteristics. At the federal level, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of:

  • Sex;
  • Race;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Religion;
  • Disability; and,
  • Age.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) offers similar protections, providing employees with rights if they experience unlawful discrimination. However, there are several key distinctions between the federal and state statutes, including:

  • FEHA applies to many smaller employers not covered by federal law. The threshold under Title VII is 15 or more workers, while FEHA prohibits discrimination by companies with five or more employees and harassment by companies with one or more employee.
  • FEHA protects employees who possess additional characteristics as compared to federal law, such as medical condition, gender identity, and gender expression. FEHA also expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, while federal courts have construed sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • FEHA contains a broader definition of disability than the ADA, so that more employees are protected from discrimination on the basis of their physical or mental conditions.

Filing a Discrimination Claim

Employees with claims of discrimination in the workplace can submit a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California DFEH. These agencies will launch an investigation and work to resolve claims out of court. Once the process is complete, anyone dissatisfied with the EEOC or DFEH resolution can then sue in a civil court.

There is also the option of filing a “Right-to-Sue” action with DFEH, which eliminates the investigation phase. A worker can initiate litigation in court once the agency provides a Right-to-Sue letter authorizing a civil lawsuit.

Through either process, it is possible to recover monetary damages and equitable relief, such as a promotion, job reinstatement, or similar remedies.

How San Francisco Discrimination Attorneys Can Help

It is not necessary for California employees to hire a lawyer to file a complaint with the EEOC or DFEH, or to initiate litigation. However, an attorney can provide valuable assistance with:

  • Investigating the basis for an employee workplace discrimination claim;
  • Identifying specific, actionable forms of unlawful discrimination by employers;
  • Gathering crucial information to support a complaint, lawsuit, or other legal action;
  • Drafting essential documentation for the complaint process through EEOC or DFEH;
  • Filing a lawsuit; and,
  • Other litigation tasks, including discovery, motions, mandatory court appearances, and trial.

Discuss Workplace Discrimination with Our San Francisco Employment Lawyers

Employees seeking more information about discrimination laws in California can contact Minnis & Smallets LLP by calling our office or filling out an online contact form. We can schedule an appointment with one of our discrimination attorneys in San Francisco, who can explain employee rights and answer questions regarding claims and civil lawsuits for discrimination.


If you are looking for advice or representation, please contact us today using the form below and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.

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