Employment Discrimination

There are many laws that protect workers in California. Among these are laws aimed at discrimination.

Employment discrimination can come in a variety of forms, including compensation or wages, failure to promote, wrongful termination, and failure to hire. These are just some of the circumstances where employment discrimination can take place. A more complete list can be found in Section 12940(a) of the California Government Code.

Types of Employee Discrimination

Laws at both the state and federal level make it illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of many different categories. For example, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on a number of categories including race, religion, country of origin, disability (whether physical or mental), marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status.

There are also very powerful laws that protect an employee from retaliation if they complain about discrimination. Those laws apply even if the employee winds up being wrong about the underlying discrimination. Hiring a lawyer who is familiar with retaliation laws is a critical step toward protecting your rights as an employee.

Federal and state laws also protect disabled workers. These laws make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their disability. They also require employers to offer reasonable accommodations to their employees with disabilities. If an employer has terminated an employee that is disabled without having a good faith discussion as to whether they can accommodate the disability, that may violate discrimination laws.

Here is a closer look at some of the different types of employment discrimination that are illegal under Federal and California law:

  • Age Discrimination
    Employees or job applicants who are aged 40 or older are protected by age discrimination laws. An employer is not able to terminate, demote, or deny an employee employment, privileges, or benefits because of there age. Additionally, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act protects older workers by ensuring that they are given 21 days to review documents waiving their rights, including severance agreements, and 7 days to revoke them.
  • Disability Discrimination
    In general, employers are not permitted to discriminate against employees who have a medical condition or disability. Employers are also unable to discriminate against employees who are perceived to have a medical condition or disability, or who have a history of having a disability.
  • National Origin Discrimination
    It is illegal for employers to demote, terminate, deny employment or other benefits and privileges based on national origin. It is also illegal to discriminate based on an employee’s language or accent. Employers are prohibited from banning certain languages in the workplace unless there is a nondiscriminatory reason for it, such as the safety of others in the workplace.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
    There are protections for pregnant women from being discriminated against based on their pregnancy, medical conditions, and childbirth.
  • Religious Discrimination
    It is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on their religion. Additionally, employees must allow for religious observances such as holidays.
  • Sexual Harassment
    Employees are protected from sexual harassment by their employers, including supervisors and co-workers.
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination
    Laws are in place to protect an employee from being discriminated against based on sexual orientation or perceived orientation.

The Right Employment Discrimination Lawyer in Oakland, CA

At Hunter Pyle Law, we want to make sure that our clients have the legal representation they need when they are filing claims for employee discrimination. Contact us today to see how we can help you.