Employment discrimination laws prohibit an employer from discriminating against an employee because of the employee’s race, gender, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability or perceived disability.
Employers cannot discriminate against employees in the protected categories in matters involving:
- Hiring and firing
- Promotion, demotion, or transfer
- Assignment or classification of employees
- Layoff, reduction in force (RIF) or forced retirement
- Job advertisements and recruitment
- Training and apprenticeship programs
- Use of company facilities
- Disability leave and severance
- Retirement plans, health/medical and fringe benefits
It is important to keep in mind that discrimination in the workplace is rarely blatant or obvious. More likely, discriminatory conduct will be subtle, and may be covered up or hidden. Although unequal treatment may be apparent to other people in the workplace, proving unlawful workplace discrimination in court is inherently difficult. Co-workers may be reluctant to testify against their current employer, and it may be necessary to prove the discriminatory conduct by inference and circumstantial evidence. As such, it is important to have a competent and experienced attorney representing your interests.
If you believe that you are being treated unfairly or differently than others because of your race, gender, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability or perceived disability, do not let self-doubts or questions hold you back. You do not have to tolerate your employer’s wrongful acts before you contact an attorney.
Please keep in mind that it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for reporting employment discrimination, filing an employment discrimination lawsuit, or participating in an investigation of such discrimination. For that reason, you should not be afraid to contact an attorney or pursue the protection of the law. Laws that protect individuals in the workplace are governed by both State law (California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)) and a number of important federal laws, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- Equal Pay Act
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Contact Kaplan Weiss LLP if you believe you may be a victim of employment discrimination.