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At Romero Law, APC, our employment law attorneys in Pasadena know that federal and state anti-discrimination laws make it illegal for an employer to take adverse employment action against a member of a protected class or category of persons.
While both local and federal laws protect employees against workplace discrimination, it is often exceedingly difficult to prove that discrimination occurred.
Our Pasadena discrimination lawyers can help you build your case for success, starting with a free consultation.
But first, here is what employees need to know about California workplace discrimination protections.
What Federal and State Laws Protect California Employees from Discrimination?
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is responsible for enforcing state laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of a protected characteristic.
California laws protect individuals from illegal discrimination by employers based on the following:
- Age (40 and over)
- Ancestry, national origin
- Disability, mental and physical
- Gender identity, gender expression
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Medical condition
- Military or veteran status
- Race, color
- Religion, creed
- Sex or gender, including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions
- Sexual orientation
The protected classes differ under the various federal laws, and include:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964(Title VII) makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Title VII also makes it illegal to discriminate against women because of pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 make it illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act(ADEA) makes it illegal to discriminate against someone because of age. This law protects people who are 40 or older.
What Type of Evidence Do I Need to Prove Discrimination is Occurring in My California Workplace?
Two types of evidence can be used to prove discrimination is occurring in the workplace: direct evidence and indirect evidence.
Direct evidence of discrimination includes statements by managers or supervisors that relate to the adverse action taken against you for belonging to a protected class.
Direct evidence is the best way to show that you experienced discrimination and can include verbal comments or statements written in memos, notes, emails, or other personal or professional communications.
Indirect evidence, which can also be referred to as circumstantial evidence, may include behavior that falls outside of direct statements and may be based on the presumption of discrimination based on the treatment the employee endures.
Keep in mind, employers are increasingly savvy in covering up discrimination in the workplace, because it is illegal and the employer can be held financially liable for the unlawful behavior.
Supervisors and other company personnel are well-trained to avoid exhibiting any direct behavior that openly expresses their biases and prejudices.
That means the first step to proving most cases is collecting circumstantial evidence to create a presumption of discrimination.
How Can I Collect Indirect Evidence to Prove Discrimination is Occurring at Work?
First, the employee who is accusing their employer of discrimination must be a member of a protected class.
For instance, if you are claiming age discrimination, you must be over 40.
You must also prove your employer took some type of adverse action against you. These actions can occur during hiring, promoting, terminating, compensating, and other terms and conditions of employment.
We must prove you suffered harm because of the employer’s negative employment action.
Next, keep a record of all instances of discrimination that occur. That may include keeping a journal of any discriminatory remarks, jokes, or other comments made to you or around you.
If you observe corroboration of discriminatory behavior in writing, pictures, or other printed materials, make a copy of the evidence by printing the communication, physically photocopying it, or taking a picture with your cellphone.
Finally, contact our skilled discrimination attorneys to learn more about how we can help you pursue past and future earnings, lost benefits, emotional distress, and any potential punitive damages you may be entitled to for the discrimination you have suffered.
Contact Our Experienced Discrimination Attorneys in Pasadena for a Free Consultation
At Romero Law, APC, our experienced Pasadena employment law attorneys take a hands-on approach to pursuing actual results our clients can count on because we are more than just their lawyer, but their advocate.