Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyer
It’s Your Livelihood.
Your Wellbeing at Work is Equally as Important off the Clock.
Are you a victim of discrimination at your workplace? Please call Theory Law at (310) 500-0206 to speak with a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer.
Anti-Discrimination Laws Protect Workers
Every year, thousands of workers in the U.S. experience some form of discrimination. Many people may not be aware of their rights or think they have no choice.
State and federal laws protect workers from many types of discrimination. The laws protect workers from discrimination based on their age, disability, race, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), or national origin.
California Protections Against Discrimination
Under the California Constitution, a person may not be disqualified from entering or pursuing a business, profession, vocation, or employment because of their sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also protects workers from discrimination on the basis of their medical condition, genetic information, marital status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or veteran status. However, to be subject to the FEHA, an employer must regularly employ 5 or more workers, full time or part-time.
In certain circumstances, these protections may extend to workers associated with a member of the protected group, such as, the spouse of a worker. For example, fathers also have the right to take a leave from work to care for their newborn.
Discrimination Practices that Affect Workers
Typically, there are two types of discrimination practices that can affect workers, one being open and obvious discrimination practices toward a worker. The other discrimination practices being an employer’s implementation of policies or practices that may appear neutral but actually discriminate in the way that they impact the workers. A Los Angeles discrimination lawyer at Theory Law can help with either type of practice.
What Can a Worker Do?
- Most companies have an employee handbook that describes the reporting procedures for reporting harassment. The employee handbook may have information about who to report the harassment to and how to report it.
- Once the harassment has been reported in writing, you can save a copy of the report you made.
- Save any information you have regarding the harassment.
- If you are unable to receive help from the employer, contact a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer.
What are Some Types of Discrimination?
Federal and state discrimination laws protect workers age 40 and older who have experienced unlawful employment practices based on their age. An employer is liable if it is discriminating or harassing workers over the age of 40.
Examples of potential age discrimination claims:
- An airline requiring pilots to retire at the age of 60 unless they secure a flight engineer position through an applicable collective bargaining agreement.
- An employer that fires a 70-year-old worker-driver because he was too old for coverage under the employer’s new liability insurance policy.
- Supervisor’s statement to another worker that employer intended to get rid of older, slower carriers to replace them with younger, faster carriers.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1990 to protect employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities. In California, the FEHA has broader anti-discrimination laws that provide more protections than the ADA to workers with disabilities. For example, the criteria for the definition of “disability” is lower under the FEHA than the ADA.
Additionally, to provide equal employment opportunity to disabled workers, employers must make reasonable accommodations to allow a worker with a known disability to perform a position’s essential functions. The worker can request a reasonable accommodation.
In California, a failure to provide an accommodation to a disabled worker may be a violation of FEHA. The FEHA also requires employers to engage in a process to determine the nature of the accommodation necessary for the disabled worker.
Here are some examples of potential disability discrimination claims:
- A hearing requirement for delivery drivers that is not mandated by law and that screens out hearing impaired individuals who are qualified to perform the job.
- A policy requiring workers to lift up to 70 pounds where a pregnant worker has lifting restrictions seeking light duty as a reasonable accommodation for her pregnancy-related impairments.
- Denying a job or promotion of an applicant because the applicant was missing a limb.
The FEHA also prohibits discrimination on the basis of a physical or mental disability, or a medical condition. For example, firing a worker because of cancer or a genetic characteristic may be a violation of the FEHA.
Gender discrimination laws require employers to treat workers equally and not discriminate regardless of their gender, how they identity, or how they express their gender.
The laws protect workers on the basis of their gender, gender identity, and gender expression. Protections include workers that identify as woman, man, transgender, nonbinary, or express a gender related appearance or behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the worker’s assigned sex at birth.
The FEHA gender discrimination laws include protections for pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act also provides protection to pregnant workers.
Additionally, federal and state law under the Equal Pay Act prohibit employers from paying its female workers less than workers of the opposite sex for equal work.
A few examples of potential gender discrimination claims, such as a worker who is:
- fired because of behavior and appearance the employer felt failed to conform to gender norms, or simply because the worker identified as a transgender.
- even months pregnant being fired by an employer because the worker was getting ready to take maternity leave.
- earning a higher salary or wage based on their gender.
Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy related medical conditions is treated as sex discrimination under both state and federal law. A pregnant worker should be treated the same as all other workers.
Some examples of potential pregnancy discrimination claims:
- Firing or refusing to hire a woman solely because she had an abortion.
- A woman fired for taking time off to undergo in vitro fertilization.
- Refusing to rehire a woman because she had suffered complications with a previous pregnancy and was trying to become pregnant again.
In certain circumstances, an employer may be required to provide reasonable accommodations to a pregnant worker to allow her to perform the position’s essential functions. However, the pregnant worker must first make the request for accommodation.
Maternity leave is also a protected right of a pregnant worker. Ant-discrimination laws require certain employers to provide a pregnant worker a similar type of leave as other temporarily disabled workers. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a pregnant worker is allowed 12 weeks of leave to care for a newborn. To be eligible for FMLA, the worker must meet the FMLA requirements.
For example, firing an worker because of cancer or a genetic characteristic may be a violation of the FEHA.
Discrimination based on race still occurs at the workplace in the 21st century. Both federal and state laws protect workers from discrimination based on race or national origin
The protections are not just limited to physical traits such as skin color, they also protect workers identifiable because of their ancestry or ethnic characteristics, the country where a person was born, or, more broadly, the country from which his or her ancestors came.
Racial discrimination can include discrimination based on the worker’s objective appearance to others, their accent, or the clothing they wear.
For example, employers requiring employees to speak English at all times while on the job may constitute discrimination based on national origin.
Every year, many workers are treated unlawfully on the basis of their religious beliefs or practices. For example, discrimination can occur on the basis of an worker’s request to for time off to observe a religious holiday or to pray.
The law does not discriminate, all religions, all aspects of religious belief, observance and practice, are protected by anti-discrimination laws. Similarly, a worker not having a religion, for example, an atheist, is also protected.
Religious discrimination laws afford workers the ability to, for example, request time to pray or observe a religious holiday. An employer not accommodating a sincere, reasonable request based on the worker’s religious belief or practice may be in violation of FEHA, unless the request would be burdensome to the business.
The FEHA expressly prohibits discrimination against any worker based on their perceived sexual orientation, such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and even heterosexual. Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is also against the law.
Sexual orientation laws also include protections to workers in all aspects of employment, including hiring, wages, benefits, and firing.
Legal Help from Theory Law
Theory Law has the ability, experience, and resources to protect your rights and accomplish your goals and needs. When you hire Theory Law, a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer starts aggressively working on your case, so you can take care of the other things in your life. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, without case opening fees. If you are a victim of discrimination at your workplace, please contact Theory Law to speak with a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer.
How Can Theory Law Help You?
If you need help regarding a legal matter and would like to discuss it with an attorney, please call (310) 500-0206 or complete and submit the e-mail form below, and the attorney will contact you.