Employment Discrimination Attorney Referral Service

What is Employment Discrimination?

Employment discrimination occurs when an employer treats one person or group of individuals differently from others who are not in the same group but are “similarly situated.” For example, an employer may be treating an African American salesman differently from all of the other salesmen.

An employer may discriminate against someone based on their race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, or age. Some states, such as California, have also prohibited discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation.

The prohibition on employment discrimination includes the following activities in which an employer may engage:

  • Hiring
  • Promotions
  • Assigning jobs
  • Terminating an employee
  • Compensation
  • Retaliation
  • Harassment

Are there any laws prohibiting discrimination?

Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate in employment based on the following:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Age, if 40 or older
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information

Discrimination based on sex includes pregnancy, childbirth, and other related medical conditions.

California has enacted more stringent protections for individuals working in the state. Along with the aforementioned, California also prohibits discrimination based on:

  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation and identity
  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Medical conditions
  • Mental disabilities
  • Political activities or affiliations
  • Military or veteran status
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking

Discrimination laws apply differently depending on how many employees a company has. For example, a company with 15 or more employees is subject to the primary federal law that prohibits employment discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

A company with 20 or more employees is subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination against employees that are 40 years of age or older.

Companies that have 4 or more employees must comply with the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

Finally, companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work under the Equal Pay Act.

In California, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulates workplace discrimination. The EEOC is a federal agency that handles workplace discrimination issues, and it has an office in California to handle claims that originate in California.

Additionally, California has a state agency, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which enforces California’s anti-discrimination laws.

How can an employment attorney help me?

If you have suffered from employment discrimination, it is important to consult an employment discrimination attorney. Employment discrimination claims can be hard to prove, especially because evidence of discrimination may be hard to gather.

An employer may make a decision based on a discriminatory reason but can claim it was due to another more legitimate and legal reason in an attempt to circumvent the law and prevent any claims from being brought against the company. Furthermore, discriminatory statements may have only been made orally, making it difficult to furnish proof that there was a discriminatory intent present in an employer’s employment decision.

An employment law attorney will have the experience and knowledge to deal with employment discrimination claims. He or she will be able to evaluate your case and ascertain whether you have a claim against your employer. An appropriate attorney will know the discrimination laws inside and out, and he or she will be able to tell right away what law your employer has violated, if any.

A lawyer who is skilled in employment discrimination claims will also have the tools to help you put together a persuasive claim, even if it may be hard to prove due to lack of evidence. If it is difficult to prove discriminatory intent on your employer’s part, you will need an individual with intimate knowledge of these types of claims, and knows exactly what is needed to make a case in front of a judge or jury.

Additionally, an employment law attorney will often be skilled in trials and settlement negotiations. If the case against your employer is strong, it may be more beneficial – to both you and your employer – for a settlement to be reached. This will allow you to receive compensation for your harm and prevent you from incurring litigation costs that come with going to trial.

A lawyer who is skilled in negotiating settlements in employment discrimination claims will be able to evaluate whether a settlement is the best option for you and help you receive compensation you deserve if you choose to try and settle with your employer. Contact us at 818-340-4529.