Employment Discrimination Attorney in Bay Area
Illegal employment discrimination is a frequent occurrence in today’s workplace. If you have been discriminated against by your employer you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Sterns & Walker located in the Bay Area, our experienced employment law attorneys will fight for your rights and we will seek to hold your employer responsible for any discriminatory actions taken against you. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Types of Employment Discrimination
Under both California and federal law, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee on the basis of a “protected category,” such as race or gender. An employee is only protected against discrimination if it is based on one of the categories listed in the statutes. For example, if an employee is passed over for promotion simply because the employer wants to promote a relative, there is no discrimination since family favoritism is not a protected category. The employee must prove that one of the listed categories is motivating the employer to take an adverse employment action against the employee. These protected categories include the following:
- Gender / sex: Sex discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employer differently because of his or her gender. This includes issues such as equal pay, stereotyping, and gender roles.
- Race: It is illegal under federal and state law for an employer to discriminate on the basis of an employee’s race or color. Race is usually defined as a person’s ancestry or ethnic characteristics.
- Religion: An employer is prohibited under federal and state law from discriminating against an employee on the basis of the employee’s religious beliefs or practices. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations of an employee’s religious belief or practices in the workplace, unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the employer (or infringe on other employees’ rights).
- Age: Both federal and state law prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of age. These laws apply to employees that are 40 years of age or older (it is not discriminatory to refuse to hire someone because they are too young).
- Disability: Under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers are prohibited from discriminating against a qualified individual because of his or her disability (physical or mental). The employee’s disability must substantially limit one or more major life activities, but he employee must be able to do the job. Employers must make reasonable accommodations to allow the disabled employer to perform his or her work.
- National origin: Under federal law, an employer cannot discriminate against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and authorized aliens based on national origin.
- Sexual orientation: It is illegal under California’s FEHA for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on that employee’s sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation.
- Pregnancy: Discrimination based on pregnancy is prohibited by the FEHA and Federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An employer is prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
What Types of Employer Actions are Prohibited?
An employer is prohibited from taking an adverse action against an employee that is based on any of the above protected categories. An “adverse” action must affect a term or condition of employment. This includes anything that relates to someone’s job, including the following:
- Hours of work
- Working conditions and work locations
- Vacation leave, sick leave, and time off
California Employment Discrimination Attorney
Employees are protected by both federal and California law from discriminatory actions taken by their employers. If you have been discriminated against by your employer based on one of the protected categories mentioned above, you should contact the Law Offices of Sterns & Walker as soon as possible. Our experienced and skilled employment law attorneys will aggressively fight to protect your rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve.