There are many types of employment discrimination that are prohibited by both state and federal laws. You have the legal right to be free from this prohibited discrimination in the workplace, and it is important to hold employers accountable when they allow workplace discrimination to occur. Accountability will not only enforce your personal legal rights, but it also discourages other employers from allowing discrimination to occur this their own workplaces.
Consequently, all workplaces across the Golden State become a more fair place for millions of Californians to work under the protection of anti-discrimination laws. Learn more about what behaviors constitute discrimination, who is protected from discrimination, and what to do if you believe you have been the victim of discrimination in your employment. A Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyer can help protect your important employment rights.
What Is Discrimination?
As in other settings, workplace discrimination means that someone is being treated differently than another person. Not all discrimination is illegal. Most employers, for example, will pay certain employees more due to their education or work experience. This is allowed. What is not allowed is discriminating against an employee based upon their membership in a protected class.
Who Is Protected From Discrimination?
There are many classes that are protected by employment laws. Employers cannot lawfully discriminate against an employee based upon the employee’s:
- National origin (so long as you have legal authorization to work in the United States)
- Sex (this includes your gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and even pregnancy)
- Disabilities protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Age (once the employee is over the age of forty)
- Genetic information
What Actions Are Prohibited?
There are many actions that can constitute discrimination. The key factor is that the terms and conditions of your employment are different than someone else’s are because you are a member of one of the protected classes listed above. Discrimination can occur at any stage of the employment process, including:
- Hiring decisions
- Work duties
- Disciplinary decisions
These are not the only decisions that can be discriminatory. If you believe that any decision about your employment has been made unlawfully, you should consult with an employment attorney about your legal rights.
How Can I Prove That Discrimination Occurred?
Discrimination can be difficult to prove. After all, very few employers are going to admit that they treated you differently in violation of the law. One of the most common ways that an employment lawyer proves a case is by comparing how you were treated to how other employees were treated. If, for example, you are a woman who was paid less than your male co-workers, it could be inferred that your employer discriminated against you based upon your gender.
Some cases might need a jury trial. This means that if your case does not settle, a jury of your peers will decide whether your employer intended to discriminate against you unlawfully. You do not have to get the employer to admit under oath that they did, in fact, pay you less because you are a woman. Once you consult with an employment attorney, you will have a better idea of whether discrimination can be proven in your case and whether your case is likely to go to trial. Your lawyer will also advise you on what evidence is needed and how he or she intends to collect it.
What Should I Do If I Experience Discrimination at Work?
It is important to get legal advice as soon as you suspect that you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination in the workplace. Remember, the company’s HR department and legal team are there to protect the company - not you. You should never take legal advice from someone who is working for the other side.
You should not wait to consult with your own attorney about your employment rights. It is important to do this as soon as you suspect that unlawful discrimination has occurred. The sooner you have an attorney fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.
An experienced, aggressive Los Angeles employment law attorneys can help you fight discrimination in the workplace. You have the right to call out an employer for illegal discrimination, and it is important to do so. This not only protects your right to feel safe in the workplace, but it also helps discourage other employers from allowing discrimination to happen in their own workplaces. By holding your employer accountable for unlawful conduct, you are helping to keep the workplaces of California free from discrimination for all employees.
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