Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyers
Aggressive representation for employees facing workplace discrimination
When you have been terminated from your job for reasons unrelated to your job performance, or been denied a job, position or promotion for reasons unrelated to your work experience, you may have been the victim of employment discrimination. The experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are ready to discuss your options for seeking justice. Contact us today to learn more.
What does workplace discrimination look like?
Discrimination in the workplace shows up in many guises with some being more subtle or systematic than others. Examples of employment discrimination include:
- Describing or suggesting a preferred type of candidate in a job announcement.
- Refusing to hire people of a particular race; distributing work assignments based on race.
- Refusing to make light duty accommodations for pregnant women.
- Retaliation against a worker who reported sexual harassment.
- Refusing to hire a person who appears to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
- Terminating an employee because he or she was inquiring about equal pay policies.
- Refusing to hire or make reasonable workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Protected statuses under federal employment law
The following are examples of the protected statuses under federal and/or state law:
- Military status
- Race or ethnicity
- Skin color
- National origin
- Gender/sex/gender identity/gender expression
- Genetic information
What are the federal laws that prohibit discrimination against protected classes?
The following are some of the federal laws which were put in place to help create a more fair and equitable society and workplace:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against a person on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sex. Title VII also prohibits discrimination against women because of pregnancy, childbirth or any related health conditions.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against a person age 40 or older because of his or her age.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits different rates of pay between women and men for the same work.
The role of the EEOC in discrimination claims
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) describes its role as being "responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information." It is also illegal to retaliate against a person because he or she complained about discrimination, filed a discrimination charge, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. If a company has 15 or more employees, they are covered by the EEOC.
The EEOC was created by Congress to enforce the Civil Rights Act. In 1998, the EEOC filed 199 lawsuits against employers and won $505 million for workers.
If you are facing discrimination in the workplace, contact the EEOC to report your situation first because the agency has the authority to investigate discrimination charges and make a finding. If the EEOC determines that discrimination has indeed occurred, it has also the authority to try to settle the charges. If the attempt to settle is unsuccessful, you can file a lawsuit.
In 2018, this was the breakdown of discrimination cases the EEOC handled:
Equal Pay Act
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act
State and federal governments agree that being able to obtain employment and keep a job without facing discrimination is a civil right. California considers protections from workplace discrimination to be a matter of public policy, so it has one of the most comprehensive workplace anti-discrimination laws. The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects California employees from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status and age if the person is over age 40. The FEHA protections apply to employers with five or more employees.
Department of Fair Employment and Housing — Headquarters
2218 Kausen Drive
Elk Grove, CA 95758
Toll Free: (800) 884-1684
Phone: (916) 478-7251
TTY: (800) 700-2320
Fax: (916) 227-2859
What does an employment discrimination lawsuit by the EEOC on behalf of workers look like?
An example of a workplace discrimination case by the EEOC includes a lawsuit against the retail giant Walmart for pregnancy discrimination. In 2018, the EEOC claimed that Walmart violated federal law when it refused to accommodate its workers' pregnancy-related medical restrictions. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Alyssa Gilliam and a class of pregnant Walmart workers claimed that pregnant women in Menomonie, Wisconsin were not allowed to participate in a company program that accommodated other workers' restrictions. This is a clear violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
The lawsuit, (EEOC v. Walmart Stores East, LP, d/b/a Walmart Distribution Center #6025, Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-783) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, seeks full relief including back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and non-monetary measures to correct Walmart's policies in the future.
Filing a claim in a workplace discrimination case
In California, both state and federal laws provide protection from workplace discrimination, but whether you bring a case in state or federal court will depend on several factors, including what type of discrimination you are facing, the number of employees your company has, where the discrimination took place and other issues.
Your Los Angeles employment lawyer at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP will help you determine what type of discrimination claim you can make based on the facts of your case. Your claim might be based on discriminatory intent/treatment, disparate impact (discrimination based on the effect of an employment policy, such as giving disabled workers the option of light duty tasks but not pregnant women) or retaliation against an employee who files a complaint about discrimination.
To prove your employment discrimination case, you will be required to provide either direct evidence in the form of documents, emails, memos or verbal statements, or circumstantial evidence because direct evidence can be difficult if not impossible to come by.
What damages are available in a workplace discrimination lawsuit in California?
State law provides those who have suffered from workplace discrimination with several options for financial compensation depending on the facts of the case, including:
- Back pay (past lost earnings)
- Front pay (future lost earnings)
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Policy changes
- Reasonable accommodation(s)
- Damages for emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Attorney’s fees and costs
If you or someone you care about is facing discrimination in the workplace, an experienced Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyer from McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP is here to help you fight for justice.
Schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyer today
Being discriminated against at work creates stress and anxiety. McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP’s Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyers will use the state and federal laws in place to help put an end to your discrimination and ensure your right to feel safe at work. Call our office at 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.