Written by: John Dalton
| Read Time: 3 minutes

Workplace discrimination refers to the unjust and prejudicial treatment of an employee based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. It can manifest in many different ways, including hiring biases, pay disparities, harassment, wrongful termination, and more. Both state and federal laws forbid such practices, but sadly, employees of all persuasions can experience discrimination while on the job. 

If you think you’ve been the target of workplace discrimination in California, you have rights. Read on to learn more about employee discrimination and when you should call us.

What Is Employment Discrimination?

Many kinds of discrimination based on protected characteristics exist under state and federal law. Some protected classes under California and federal law include:

  • Sex/Gender—discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression is not allowed. Under federal law, this includes protections for pregnant individuals. The most common is sexual harassment;
  • Race—discrimination based on race, color, or national origin is prohibited;
  • Religion—employers cannot discriminate based on an individual’s religious beliefs or practices;
  • Pregnancy and related conditions—employers can not discriminate against employees due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions;
  • Age—age discrimination protections apply to individuals who are 40 years old and older;
  • Disability— employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities and discrimination based on disability is prohibited;
  • Sexual orientation—discrimination based on sexual orientation, whether actual or perceived, is not allowed;
  • Marital status—employers cannot discriminate based on an individual’s marital status; and
  • Medical condition—discrimination based on an individual’s medical condition, including genetic characteristics, is prohibited.

This list is not exhaustive, so speak with us to determine if you fall under a protected category and advise you on possible next steps.

Do I Have an Employment Discrimination Claim?

No one deserves to have their livelihood damaged or lose income because of a legally protected trait. However, determining whether discrimination has occurred is more challenging than it seems. Here are some of the most common forms of discrimination workers might experience.

  • Harassment. Committing unwelcome and discriminatory conduct or behavior directed towards an employee based on protected characteristics, creating a hostile or intimidating work environment and impeding their ability to perform their job duties. Sexual harassment is an example.
  • Unequal Pay. If an employer pays different workers different amounts for substantially similar work due to factors like gender or race, this constitutes discrimination and is a prohibited practice.
  • Denial of promotion. Denying promotion opportunities due to protected characteristics constitutes discrimination and is prohibited.
  • Retaliation. Occurs when an employer takes adverse actions against an employee in response to their engagement in protected activities. It can take various forms, such as wrongful termination, demotion, reduced responsibilities, or creating a hostile work environment.

If you believe you have experienced discriminatory actions on the job due to a protected status, please contact us as soon as possible.

Proving an Employment Discrimination Claim

When it comes to discrimination cases, the burden of proof generally falls on the employee to provide evidence to substantiate the claim. Employees can feel overwhelmed with this burden, as the employer likely has more money and resources to fight against them. To help build a successful case, you should keep a detailed record of all discriminatory occurrences. 

Preserve relevant emails, memos, or any written communication that may contain discriminatory language or reveal discriminatory decisions. These documents serve as critical evidence to support the claim. In addition, it is a good idea to make a record of any discriminatory incidents that happened on the job, noting dates, times, locations, and individuals involved.

Most importantly, you should contact us as soon as possible so we can help you with all the things mentioned above.

Compensation for Employment Discrimination Claims

Damages for employment discrimination claims can vary depending on factors such as the nature and severity of the discrimination but generally include emotional distress damages such as humiliation, embarrassment, nervousness, anxiety, sleeplessness, worry, sadness, etc., just to name a few.  Other damages may include compensation for lost wages and benefits from the date of the discriminatory action, including future wage and benefit compensation for the period beyond claim resolution. In some cases, an employee may also be entitled to punitive damages for especially egregious acts of discrimination and harassment. 

Do I Have a Time Limit to File an Employment Discrimination Claim?

A statute of limitations refers to the legal time limit for initiating a lawsuit, which starts from the occurrence of an event giving rise to the claim. For a federal claim, an employee has 300 calendar days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act to initiate legal proceedings. Under state law, an employee has three years from the date of the incident to file. It’s important to note that these timelines can be subject to change, and specific circumstances may alter deadlines, so contact us as soon as you can.

Contact the Law Office Of John Dalton

Every worker deserves to be treated with dignity and respect while performing their duties. Contact the Law Office of John Dalton immediately if you believe you’ve experienced illegal workplace discrimination. 

With decades of experience representing California workers and a track record of success, we will fight tirelessly for your rights to ensure you receive the outcome you deserve. 

Contact us to schedule a free case consultation.

    “I highly respect John and his dedication and integrity. You will not be disappointed.” John Dalton went to work for me and delivered great results. I wasn’t sure what to do and when I found John, he explained everything nicely and he was able to get me the settlement I truly deserved. He was easy to work with and I always felt like I was kept in the loop - it was really fantastic service all around. - Steve K.
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