There are numerous state and federal laws that protect California workers from employment discrimination. Employment discrimination and other employment law issues are serious as they often negatively impact the lives of those employees who depend on their jobs. Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. Under both state and federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against workers based on various personal characteristics, many of which are described below. This is not an exhaustive list, and workers who believe they have experienced discrimination should discuss their case with a knowledgeable employment discrimination attorney.
In California and all throughout the United States, employers cannot discriminate against potential or current employees based on their age. This arises in cases where, for example, a younger employee receives a raise or promotion instead of an older employee with better qualifications, or when a disproportionate number of individuals over the age of 40 are selected for a layoff.
Gender discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently on the basis of their gender in the way of employment, a promotion, or other work-related benefits. For example, if a woman and a man are both working toward the same job or promotion and the man who is less qualified gets the job or promotion without any reasonable explanation other than gender bias, this may be a case of gender discrimination. In addition, under California law, employers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of gender identity and expression, or gender roles and stereotypes.
A person experiences disability discrimination when they are discriminated against because of some physical, mental, or emotional disability or hardship. This includes physical disabilities such as poor vision or wheelchair use, mental disabilities such as dyslexia, and emotional disabilities such as bipolar disorder. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, and failure to do so may also constitute unlawful action.
Discrimination based on race or skin color is absolutely illegal. Employees who are discriminated against because of their race should take steps to accurately document the discriminatory behavior and discuss the matter with the appropriate authority in their workplace. If this fails to remedy the situation, contacting an experienced employment law attorney may be necessary.
Freedom of religion is one of the basic rights of every American and has been since our nation’s founding in 1776. If religion is a primary factor in denying an employee some benefit, right, or privilege, this may be a case of religious discrimination. One example includes employees being treated differently or assigned different work duties because they choose to wear a religious head covering or other garment in the workplace.
There are other types of employment discrimination actions that do not fit into one of these categories. For example, discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, pregnancy, or national origin may also be unlawful. Employees who have been subjected to these actions on the job or during the interview process may need to consult with an employment attorney to determine how to best address the situation.
One of the basic freedoms guaranteed to all Americans is to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, disability, race, or religion. The legal team at Minnis & Smallets helps defend this right by fighting with tenacity and compassion for employees who face discrimination in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. Contact our employment discrimination attorneys today to discuss your concerns and how we may be able to help.
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