There are many types of discrimination in the workplace that are prohibited under state and federal law. If you believe you have been discriminated against by your employer, supervisors, or coworkers, it is important to consult with a San Mateo discrimination attorney as soon as possible. Unlike your human resources department, an attorney will be on your side and know how to protect your legal rights. An attorney will also know how best to address the discrimination. Early intervention both protects your legal rights and discouraged employers from allowing discrimination against other employees in the future.
Employment discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently because of a status in a protected class. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment based upon race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Later laws also protected employees from discrimination based upon pregnancy or disability. And here in California, state laws protect employees from discrimination based upon gender identity and expression, as well as the use of natural hairstyles. If you believe that you have suffered any adverse actions in the workplace based on one of these categories, you should consult with an employment attorney as soon as possible.
So what, exactly, qualifies as discrimination? Almost any adverse employment decision is prohibited if it is based upon the legally protected categories described above. This includes the decision to hire someone at all, and it also applies to discipline or promotion decisions made after the employee is hired. It could apply to decisions about the shift someone is given, the location they will have to work at, or opportunities for bonuses or overtime that are withheld. It can apply to pay disparities between workers (if these disparities are only based upon protected status, and there is no other reason that can be attributed to the pay difference). And of course, it applies to the decision to terminate employment.
The law allows victims of employment discrimination to sue for the financial losses they have suffered as a result of an employer’s prohibited discriminatory activities. This includes lost wages, lost employment benefits (such as health insurance), lost bonuses or overtime pay, and other documented financial losses that were caused by illegal activity.
Employees also have the right to file a complaint with state and local employment authorities. This is an important tool because it holds employers accountable for allowing prohibited conduct to occur in their workplaces. These agencies can levy fines or monitor an employer’s activities. This helps to prevent other innocent workers from being discriminated against in the future. At the federal level, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission investigates employment discrimination complaints. Here in California, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing handles these complaints.
The experienced employment attorneys at Minnis & Smallets know how to handle all types of discrimination cases. We fight hard to protect California employees’ right to be free from discrimination in the workplace. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced employment discrimination attorneys.