How Can I Prove Discrimination is Occurring at Work?
The Los Angeles discrimination attorney at the Leichter Law Firm, APC, Aryeh Leichter, understands how difficult it may be to not only identify — but prove — that discrimination is occurring in a California workplace.
Workplace discrimination is often disguised or subtle, occurring through stereotyping, implicit bias, open hostility, and even overly critical behavior.
No matter how it occurs, both federal and state anti-discrimination laws make it illegal for an employer to take adverse employment action against a member of a protected class or category of persons.
Here is what employees need to know about California workplace discrimination protections and ways they can strengthen their cases when illegal behavior is occurring.
Which State and Federal Laws Protect California Employees from Discrimination?
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is responsible for enforcing state laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of a protected characteristic.
California laws protect individuals from illegal employment discrimination based on the following:
- Age (40 and over)
- Ancestry, national origin
- Disability, mental and physical
- Gender identity, gender expression
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Medical condition
- Military or veteran status
- Race, color
- Religion, creed
- Sex or gender, including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions
- Sexual orientation
The protected classes differ under the various federal laws, and include:
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act(ADEA) makes it illegal to discriminate against someone because of age. This law protects people who are 40 or older.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 make it illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964(Title VII) makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Title VII also makes it illegal to discriminate against women because of pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
If you believe you are being discriminated against in your California workplace, contact the skilled employment law attorney at the Leichter Law Firm, APC today to discuss your concerns during a free consultation.
How Can I Prove Discrimination is Occurring in My California Workplace?
In some cases, discrimination is overt and detrimental to workplace conditions, making it easier to pursue a claim against the offending party. Obvious signs of discrimination may include disparate treatment in employee discipline, failure to accommodate religious beliefs, and variations in work assignments.
When discrimination is recognized, it can be proven using direct evidence, which may include statements by managers or supervisors that relate to the adverse action taken against the employee who belongs to a protected class.
Direct evidence may include personal or professional communications to or about the employee, including verbal comments or statements written in memos, notes, or emails.
Proof of discrimination may also be obtained through indirect evidence based on the presumption of discrimination related to how the employee is treated.
All California employers know that workplace discrimination is illegal, which is why they will go to great lengths to avoid exhibiting any direct behavior that openly expresses their biases and prejudices.
That leaves the responsibility of proving their illegal behavior to the employee.
When an employee alleges that he or she is being discriminated against, they must prove their employer took some type of adverse action against them.
That could include any adverse action that occurred during hiring, compensating, promoting, terminating, or other terms and conditions of employment.
To help build your case, keep records of all discriminatory actions, which may include comments, communications, or printed materials made or sent directly to you, about you, or around you.
Next, contact a workplace discrimination attorney in California to help outline the facts of your case and provide actionable next steps to help strengthen your position, so you can pursue your employer for the legal remedy you are entitled to through both federal and state laws.
Contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC Workplace Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles
Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder and workplace discrimination attorney in Los Angeles County, can help you pursue your employer for their unlawful behavior, starting with a free consultation by calling 818-915-6624 or contacting the firm online today.