This blog post will explain the legal protections in California when it comes to employment discrimination. No one should have to suffer through illegal discrimination in the workplace, but unfortunately, it does happen. California has some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country, and if you’ve been the victim of discrimination, you can take action and get the justice you deserve.
But how do you know if you’re protected by California’s anti-discrimination laws? To get a better understanding of your rights, an employment lawyer can help. California’s anti-discrimination laws are expansive and unique. These laws protect individuals from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, age, marital status, and other protected categories.
This means that employers are prohibited from making decisions related to hiring, promoting, disciplining, and terminating employees based on these categories. Furthermore, California also protects employees in the workplace from harassment, including sexual harassment. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace, it’s important to contact an experienced employment lawyer.
These legal professionals can assess the details of your situation and help determine if you have a valid claim for discrimination or harassment. They can also help guide you through the process of filing a complaint and, if necessary, pursuing a lawsuit. In addition, they can provide advice on how to respond to any retaliatory action taken by an employer. Do you need help understanding CA discrimination law and your legal rights? An employment lawyer can explain your options, help you understand the legal process, and provide you with the legal protection you need.
discrimination law in California is governed by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act which can be found in the governmental code section 1 2 9 4 0 and the Maine statute is subsection a now this is different than what the rest of the country uses the rest of the country for the most part uses title 7 and the the governmental administrative body that oversees enforcement of title 7 is the EEOC but here in California we have our own version of the EEOC which is the DfE H the Department of Fair Employment and housing that is the governmental body that oversees enforcement of the anti-discrimination efforts in the state of California along with all the private lawyers that sue under these laws so does this apply to every employer well no technically it doesn’t – for feeha
to apply to an employer the employer must have five or more employees so if you work at a small company with two employees technically feeha doesn’t apply but there are other anti-discrimination laws that would but let’s get into the meat and potatoes of California’s anti-discrimination law and I’m literally going to read the law to you it is an unlawful Employment Practise unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification talk about that later for an employer because of and that’s the important part a protected category which we will talk about all the protected categories in a minute to refuse to hire or employ the person or to bar or to discharge the person from employment or to discriminate against the person in compensation in terms conditions or privileges of employment all that is the law and basically what it says is if the law applies to that employer they cannot discriminate against you because of one of these protected categories which we’re going to jump into right now.
Protected Categories Under California law
It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against a person because they have one of these characteristics, but Before we jump into each one of these remember that bfoq thing I was talking about let’s explain that a little bit further a bona fide occupational qualification is an exception to the anti-discrimination rules meaning an employer can discriminate against a person if there’s a bfoq and the best way to explain what a bfoq is is with an example let’s say your United Airlines and you want to hire a pilot you put out a job advertisement and an individual applies but that person recently in a boating accident lost the use of one of their eyes and 50% of their other eye ie they have a physical disability well United Airlines can discriminate against that person and not hire them because having good eyesight is definitely a bfoq a flying commercial aircraft but the vast majority of jobs don’t have a bfoq attached to them so let’s jump into the protected categories Everybody knows that it’s an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to hire somebody or to terminate somebody because of their race or a similar to that religion.
color national origin ancestry Those cases are very very rare. physical, mental, or medical condition physical disability Mental disability and medical condition We kind of grouped those three into an overall term that we call disability discrimination. It’s unlawful to discriminate against somebody because they have a disability so long as they can perform the essential functions of the job. It’s an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against somebody because of their genetic information, marital status, or sex, which also includes pregnancy.
Childbirth and related medical conditions Their gender: you can’t pay a woman less money than men Gender identity, gender expression, and age are very common types of discrimination cases in California. If the person is over the age of 40, you can’t discriminate against them due to their age or sexual orientation. You cannot discriminate against somebody because of their if they’re gay or bisexual or whatever military status and veteran status, which are also protected categories set up under 1 2 9 4 0 subsection a.
Now, the most common types of discrimination cases that we see as lawyers Race, religion, disability discrimination, sex, gender, and age are by far those are the most common types, and then there are retaliation cases based on any one of these where somebody complains about discrimination and is terminated for the writ for the complaint. That’s more of a retaliation case, which is covered in a different video, but those are the protected categories in the state of California.
monetary damages is a remedy at law
If you were discriminated against at work, what should you do? Should you just go find another job, contact a lawyer, or go to the DF? Well, there are lots of answers to those questions, but first let’s look at the economic realities of the case. If you were discriminated against and you filed a lawsuit, what kind of damages would you recover? Well, let’s unpack that under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, you would get the following four types of remedies: The main types of remedies First and foremost, your economic damages are your lost wages after you are fired. If you are making $50,000 a year and you’re discriminated against and terminated, you’re not making $50,000 a year anymore, so it’s a very tangible economic loss the jury can measure. Second, emotional distress is very significant in most discrimination cases, especially in severe cases.
These are the damages of the pain and suffering that somebody goes through as a result of the discrimination. Third, punitive damages are the damages meant to punish the bad guy for the horrendous conduct, but they are rare because you have to prove that the termination was done or the discrimination was done with malice, oppression, or fraud.
not easy to do but good lawyers can ring that bell often finally attorney fees very important because if you have a good case a good discrimination case then the bad guys are likely going to want to settle with you earlier rather than later because if they decide to fight for two years to trial the attorney fee liability will be significant okay well aside from that should you file a case what would it be worth well no good lawyer is going to tell you what your case is worth and there’s a very good reason for that because we don’t know at the beginning of a case before anybody knows any facts before anybody knows any type of remedies available before anybody knows the details of how good of a witness you’re gonna be how bad their lawyers how good your lawyers It’s impossible to estimate the value of a case; moreover, we don’t have averages.
All settlements are confidential, just about all settlements are confidential, so we don’t even have a basis to base that on, but I can tell you this: if you find a good employment lawyer to take your case on a contingency fee and that person invests their own time, money, and most importantly, effort into the case, not only will you likely be very happy with the financial outcome of your case, but more importantly, you will feel great because you will have taught that employer a very important lesson: it is absolutely unacceptable for a company to terminate an employee based on one of these protected characteristics. This video barely scratches the surface as to how complex and detailed discrimination cases in California are.