Los Angeles Employment Lawyers for Police and Sheriffs’ Deputies

Advocating for law enforcement officers throughout Los Angeles and the state of California

Being a victim of discrimination at work is demoralizing and can have a deep emotional impact on a person. Moreover, being treated unfairly and unfavorably at work because of your race, your gender, religion, national origin, skin color, disability or sexual orientation is against California law. Federal discrimination laws also provide robust protections which you can use to fight for justice in the form of compensation for the emotional anguish and financial losses you have suffered because of unfair, illegal treatment at work.

At McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP, our Los Angeles employment lawyers are proud to represent police officers, sheriffs’ deputies, firefighters, and all members of law enforcement when their rights have been violated. You can rely on us to help hold employers accountable for violating employment laws. Our firm knows how to fight and win cases, and has been doing exactly that for over three decades. Below are a few representative successes we’ve obtained:

$ million
for two male LAPD officers in sex discrimination and retaliation case
$ million
for an LAPD K9 Bomb Unit dog handler in retaliation case
$ million
for LAPD Captain in discrimination and retaliation case
$ million
against the City of Los Angeles in a retaliation case on behalf of an LAPD officer
$ million
for a Bomb Tech in a fraud and forceful discrimination case
$ million
for an LAPD employee facing retaliation after standing up for a female officer who had been subjected to harassment and discrimination
$ million
for a Japanese-American police officer for harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
$ million
on behalf of six Whittier police officers who allegedly faced retaliation for refusing to participate in an illegal quota
$ million
for Riverside police officer in ticket quota retaliation case
$ million
for four LAPD officers in retaliation lawsuit
$ million
for a female SWAT officer denied a position on an elite squad
$ million
for three LAPD female employees for discriminatory and retaliatory actions
$ million
for 21-Year LAPD veteran who suffered disability discrimination and retaliation

Additionally, in a high-profile victory, McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP represented a Los Angeles Police Department officer who was fired from the department due to false accusations by another police agency while he was helping his wife with a flat tire. He allegedly became belligerent and unruly with the other officers who were on the scene. Our firm obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of our client and returned him to his former position on the force, which was exceptionally difficult as police agencies rarely reinstate an officer after that person has been terminated.

Our Successes

Class action settlement on behalf of consumers against Epson America, Inc. for installation of a “smart chip” in its printers that shut down when there was still a substantial amount of ink left on the cartridge.


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What is employment discrimination?

Discrimination in the workplace can be an employee who is treated unfairly, unfavorably or differently from other employees, or an adverse employment action was taken because of an employee’s gender, age, religion, national origin, color or disability. Examples of employment discrimination include:

  • People of one race are more likely to be given promotions or bonuses.
  • People with disabilities are not given proper accommodations.
  • Female officers are subjected to taunts and behaviors that males are not subjected to.
  • Older officers are given less important cases.
  • Certain religious holidays are favored over others.

Federal laws that protect workers from discrimination

These are a few of the federal laws that protect workers from discrimination:

Proving workplace discrimination

Proving workplace discrimination is not always easy. Employers may use a “pretext,” or false reason for the wrongful termination. You must be able to provide evidence to prove that you were discriminated against which is why it’s crucial to work with an employment lawyer who is well-versed in California laws.

There are two types of evidence: direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence includes written or oral statement, emails, memos or any other form of written communication that connects your protected status with your employer's policies on hiring, promoting, assigning duties, firing or any other job-related decisions. These policies may be unwritten, but that does not mean that they do not exist.

If you are unable to find any tangible, direct evidence of your employer's discriminatory policies, you may have to rely on circumstantial evidence. California law recognizes that employees rarely have direct evidence of discrimination and often must rely on circumstantial evidence. Black's Law Dictionary describes the following examples of circumstantial evidence for workplace discrimination:

  • Observations of different treatment between yourself and other employees with the same level of qualification for the job, but who differ in protected class status.
  • Rude or derogatory comments made by superiors about your protected status such as racist or sexist remarks.
  • A history of prior discriminatory practices or complaints against the company.
  • A relative lack of employees with your protected status in your workplace.
  • Jobs being given to people with fewer qualifications but a different class status.

As Panel Counsel to the Los Angeles Police Protective League, McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP understands that the needs of law enforcement may be different than those of a private employee. Your Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawyer will be able to piece together instances such as these to compile enough evidence to prove that discrimination is going on. If it comes down to your word against your supervisor's, you should have as much circumstantial evidence as you can find to support your allegations and prove your case.

Helping law enforcement in Los Angeles with whistleblower claims

The choice of whether to file a whistleblower claim against the LAPD or the Los Angeles County Sheriffs’ Department is daunting. We understand that most officers see themselves as a part of a brotherhood, and any attempt to point out corruption or systemic, illegal activity may be met with less-than-enthusiastic responses. Often, whistleblowers are subjected to bullying and harassing behavior, and shut out by their own colleagues. Even worse, many face retaliatory behaviors by commanding officers. This can include being:

  • Denied promotions and bonuses
  • Suspended from work
  • Demoted
  • Transferred
  • Relegated to the “records room”
  • Taken off active cases

Under state and federal law, it is illegal to retaliate against whistleblowers, and if your employer does, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys have dedicated their careers to defending employee rights and protecting whistleblowers, and will be relentless in advocating for your cause.

Contact our Los Angeles discrimination lawyers for help today

At McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP, our focus is on protecting your rights under the law. Our family owned and operated law firm is a seasoned legal team which has the resources and tenacity required to handle all employment disputes against the LA County Sheriffs’ Office and the LAPD. You are encouraged to call our office today at 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form to learn more about how we can serve you.