Employers in California are prohibited from discriminating against an employee when that employee is a member of a protected class. Discrimination cannot occur at any stage of employment, including the hiring process, promotion, or termination.
When an employee believes she has been discriminated against, she may be able to file a claim under federal or state law. Depending upon whether the employee files under relevant federal law or California state law, she will need to initiate the claim by filing with either the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). To learn more about workplace discrimination claims in Silicon Valley, you should speak with a Silicon Valley employment discrimination attorney.
There are numerous federal laws that prohibit unlawful employment discrimination. The EEOC enforces these laws, which make it unlawful for an individual to face discrimination as a member of a protected class. Federal laws protect individuals who are members of many different protected classes and prohibit discrimination on the basis of any of the following:
There are a number of different federal laws that protect individuals against these forms of discrimination, including but not limited to:
California law often provides greater protections to employees than does federal law. While state law cannot go below the protections provided by federal law, states are permitted to provide additional protections that go above and beyond what is provided by federal law. In addition to the protected classes listed above under federal law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) specifically defines the following individuals as members of protected classes who are eligible for protection against employment discrimination:
It is important to note that the EEOC recognizes gender identity discrimination as a form of sex discrimination, but it is not specifically defined as such under federal law. Laws that protect against employment discrimination in Silicon Valley include but are not limited to:
If you have questions or concerns about a workplace discrimination case, you should speak with a Silicon Valley employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible. Contact Minnis & Smallets LLP for more information.