Firefighters perform their jobs, day in and day out, knowing that at any moment they could get a call to risk their lives in order to save someone else’s. The hectic and high-pressure environment of a fire station can lead to tension and even harassment or discrimination in the workplace. Minorities and women tend to suffer from these inequalities the most, but it can happen to anyone in the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
As a first responder and firefighter, you have certain rights and protections under the law. One of these important protections is the right to a workplace free of discrimination. Discrimination can take many forms, but common issues include:
- Demotion, transfer, or unfavorable assignment
- Denial of promotion
- Failure to interview or hire certain individuals
- Intolerable working conditions
- Reduction in pay
If any of these happen to a firefighter based on things like their race, gender, age, disability, or religion, they may have grounds for a Los Angeles firefighter discrimination claim.
How do I know if it’s discrimination?
Discrimination of any kind involves treating people differently based on certain characteristics. However, it’s against the law to discriminate based on:
- Age (over 40)
- National origin, ethnicity or skin color
- Sexual orientation
- Physical or mental disability or condition
You can categorize discrimination into three basic types:
- Treatment discrimination. This is the most common form of workplace discrimination and involves treating similarly situated individuals differently in their employment because of a protected characteristic.
- Impact discrimination. “Impact” means that an employer has implemented policies that might be neutral on their face but which in effect negatively impact workers in a protected class.
- Retaliation discrimination. It is against the law to discriminate against an employee because that employee reported or otherwise opposed discrimination or harassment. Also, the law prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports what he or she believes to be a violation of law, such as a safety violation in the firehouse. This is called “whistleblower” protection. Retaliatory actions can include all of the above forms of discrimination in the workplace, including demotions, transfers, or a hostile work environment.
Helping the LAFD with discrimination claims
The attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas have a successful track record advocating for firefighters when they’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace.
- After a 12-day trial, secured a $2.75 million unanimous verdict on behalf of a Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) employee who experienced retaliation after disclosing potential grant fraud and abuse.
- Secured a $1.5 million settlement on behalf of two firefighter recruits employed with the municipal fire department who were discriminated, harassed and retaliated against in violation of California’s Fair Employment Housing Act.
If you’re a firefighter facing discrimination in the workplace, you don’t have to go it alone. The Los Angeles employment attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas LLP fight aggressively for our first responders, protecting your job and your rights. Contact us today to set up a consultation and find out how we can assist you. Call us at 310-474-1582 or complete our contact form.