Employment laws at both the federal and state levels seek to even out the playing field between employers and employees. This means that employers may not make adverse employment decisions because they do not like specified factors of an applicant or employee. Prohibiting discrimination in the workplace helps to provide equal opportunities for people despite being part of minority groups or other aspects of their lives.
Unfortunately, discrimination is still a problem among some California employers. Companies might engage in discrimination unknowingly, such as by enacting policies they do not realize are unfair to certain groups of employees. On the other hand, some employers engage in blatant discrimination and likely hope the victim will not take legal action.
If you think your employer might have discriminated against you for a protected factor, it is important to stand up for your rights for two main reasons. First, you should exercise your rights that the law provides and receive legal relief when your employer violates your rights. Second, doing so helps to protect other employees from discrimination, as legal claims can deter such conduct in the future.
Do not wait to contact a San Diego employment law attorney about your situation.
Discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of one person over another person. Sometimes, discrimination is lawful and allowed in employment, though the law sets out specific reasons on which employers cannot base discriminatory conduct.
Discrimination can involve almost any type of adverse employment action or unfair treatment, including:
- Refusing to hire an applicant
- Refusing a promotion or pay increase
- Demotion or pay decrease
- Reduction of hours
- Disallowing overtime (when others are allowed to work overtime)
- Unfavorable job assignments or shifts
- Not permitting front-of-house work
- Unequal pay for the same job
- Employment policies that impact certain employees differently
- Harassment and hostile work environments for certain employees
If you feel like your employer is treating your differently, or you suffered an adverse employment action you believe was unfair, you might be a victim of workplace discrimination in San Diego.
Having certain employees with less favorable job assignments or lower pay than others is not always discriminatory, as it is a necessity in most workplaces. However, employers should base these decisions on experience and qualifications - not discriminatory reasons. The following are reasons that San Diego employers are prohibited from using when making employment decisions:
- Race and color
- National origin
- Sex and gender, which includes pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression
- Age (once the employee is over the age of forty)
- Disabilities protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Medical conditions
- Genetic information
- Military status
- Marital status
Employers cannot refuse to hire someone with a disability, fire older employees in exchange for younger employees, or pay a woman less than a man for similar work. In addition, employers should not have any policies that have a disparate impact on certain protected groups or allow harassment of employees based on protected factors.
Finally, if someone with a disability or religious belief needs certain adjustments to perform their jobs, employers should provide requested reasonable accommodations unless the company would experience serious financial hardship.
Taking Action Against Discrimination
Workplace discrimination is a serious matter, and both state and federal agencies strictly enforce anti-discrimination laws. However, as the target of discrimination, you (and potentially other employers in your protected class) need to take action to hold your employer accountable.
Too often, discrimination occurs, and an employee might not be sure if what happened was unlawful. If you have concerns about possible discrimination at your place of work, you should set up a free consultation with a San Diego workplace discrimination attorney.
Our legal team will listen to what happened and advise you whether or not you have a case for discrimination against your employer. We then have different avenues to pursue legal relief for you, depending on your circumstances. Some courses of action include:
- Communicating and negotiating directly with your employer
- Filing complaints with either the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Filing a discrimination lawsuit in state or federal court
We can seek monetary damages and other relief that is appropriate in your situation.
Let a San Diego Workplace Discrimination Lawyer Help You
If you need professional help in identifying whether you were the victim of discrimination, or you know you suffered discrimination and you need to know what to do next, our San Diego workplace discrimination attorneys are ready to help. Contact us today for more information.
Request A Free Consultation
Contacting us through this form or the internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.