Los Angeles Firefighter Claims Attorneys
Fighting discrimination and harassment on behalf of California’s heroes
Are you a firefighter who has been dealing with discrimination or sexual harassment on the job? The culture in fire stations often leads to this abuse and leaves harassed firefighters uncertain about coming forward to report this injustice. Moreover, you may have heard of the retaliation other firefighters have faced when filing complaints, including backlash or risk of losing their jobs. You should know that the law is on your side. There are state and federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination against protected categories of workers.
Fire departments have a responsibility to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP, our experienced Los Angeles employment lawyers are here to hold employers accountable. Our firm serves as Panel Counsel to the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City and has earned a reputation as leaders in the fight against harassment and discrimination in the public sector workforce. You can rely on us to help you when you need it the most.
Types of workplace discrimination cases we handle
Many consider firefighters to be heroes who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. Unfortunately, those heroes sometimes face discrimination at work, which can make it even more difficult and dangerous to do their job. Discrimination is the unfair treatment that some workers face because of their race, gender, age, religion, national origin, skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any other protected status.
Although discrimination has been allowed to persist in some workplaces, this does not make it right. Those employees who are courageous enough to step forward and report the harmful, illegal conduct taking place at work will help change things for the people who come after them.
Our employment discrimination attorneys handle cases such as the following when a firefighter has been discriminated against because he or she belongs to a protected status group under California and federal law:
- Racial discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Hostile work environment
- Sexual orientation harassment
- Quid pro quo harassment
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Religious discrimination
- Weight discrimination
- National origin, ethnic or skin color discrimination
Both state and federal law agree that the ability to find and keep a job without being required to endure discrimination from an employer, a co-worker, a vendor or a customer is a civil right that everyone should be able to enjoy. The trusted workplace discrimination lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are prepared to use the many anti-discrimination laws on the books to pursue justice for you.
Helping LAFD employees file sexual harassment claims
Sexual harassment covers a broad range of behaviors. While the majority of claims are filed by women, men can also be sexually harassed. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is required by law to prohibit sexual harassment, and its employees are entitled to a workspace that is free from sexual harassment.
If you are sexually harassed by a co-worker, a contractor, a superior or anyone who works within the LAFD, you should consult with one of our attorneys. We can take you through the proper steps for filing an EEOC claim, and fight for you if you are subjected to retaliation or wrongful termination.
Federal and California laws that protect employees from workplace discrimination
The following are examples of the federal laws that prohibit discrimination against protected classes:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963
In California, protection from discrimination is considered public policy as evidenced by one of the most comprehensive workplace discrimination laws in the country. 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, and its protections apply to employers with five or more employees.
Examples of firefighter discrimination cases
- An African American firefighter filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles in 2018 alleging discrimination and retaliation at a South Los Angeles fire station. The male firefighter endured racial slurs, found feces in his locker where he stored his jacket and breathing apparatus, and was subjected to veiled death threats and other insults. The firefighter is suing the city for mental and emotional injuries, lost wages and earning capacity.
- A Los Angeles firefighter prevailed in a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit. After disclosing the illegal action he witnessed, the firefighter faced retaliation from fellow members of the LAFD which caused him to fear that he would not be able to rely on the other firefighters for help, which put his health and safety at risk. He sued the LAFD alleging harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
- A firefighter filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection because of discrimination for his disability and sexual orientation. The firefighter was the victim of name-calling and hostility from his bosses. The stress of the incidents caused his doctor to place him on medical leave, and the department planned to terminate his employment.
- A female firefighter, who was the only woman to complete Anaheim's Fire Academy in 13 years, is suing the city for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and national origin discrimination because of her Mexican ancestry.
Blowing the whistle on the LAFD
California’s firefighters are public employees. If you discover fraud, corruption or other illegal acts, you have the right to file a claim under the California False Claims Act as a whistleblower.
Blowing the whistle is a noble thing to do, but unfortunately, not all public employers will applaud your decision to point out their fraudulent activities – and the LAFD is no exception. If you choose to file a claim, you could face illegal retaliation by your superiors or the organization itself. Retaliatory acts may include being:
- Denied your rightful pay
- Transferred to another station
- Harassed by fellow fire fighters or superiors
If you discover fraud, you need help from a team of attorneys with experience. At McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP, our lawyers help firefighters who have been subject to harassment and retaliation efforts, and seek justice on their behalf.
If you are dealing with what you believe is discrimination or harassment at work, you need an advocate to fight for your right to legal protection. If your employer has violated the law, or has sat idly by while your co-workers harass you, we are here to help you pursue justice in the form of compensation for the mental and emotional distress, medical expenses and lost income. If you were wrongfully terminated, transferred, given undesirable shifts or assignments, demoted or denied attempts to advance in your career, you may be facing discrimination and/or retaliation.
The law places strict time limits within which you can file a lawsuit, so it is vital that you contact a trusted Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer immediately.
At McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers are here to protect firefighters, police officers and other public employees from the injustice of workplace discrimination. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and learn about the legal options available to you.
Schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles firefighter discrimination claims lawyer today
Contact our experienced Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyers today to discuss your firefighter discrimination claims. McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP is here to help firefighters who have suffered harassment on the job. Please call our office at 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form today to schedule a complimentary consultation.