In California, everyone has a right to employment, regardless of their gender identity, skin color, or even their religious views. Unfortunately, many employees are subjected to harassment in the workplace for their appearance, beliefs, and other protected classes.
Nobody deserves to feel uncomfortable in the workplace, and if you file a complaint with your employer about discrimination or harassment, they must respond with a thorough and objective investigation. If they fail to do so, they could be held liable for their lack of action. Alternatively, if they investigate and determine that harassment or discrimination occurred, they are responsible for taking prompt and effective action to remedy it.
What Protections Do You Have When Reporting Harassment or Discrimination in the Workplace?
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is illegal for public or private employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies with five or more employees to discriminate against job applicants, employees, unpaid interns, volunteers, or contractors. The following categories are protected under the FEHA:
- Age, if over the age of 40
- Mental or physical disability
- Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- Medical condition
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Military or veteran status
Harassment based on any of the protected categories above is prohibited in all workplaces, regardless of the number of people employed.
If you have experienced retaliation from your employer, such as wrongful termination or wage violations, after reporting an incident of harassment or discrimination for a protected category, you could be entitled to remedies under California state law.
How Do You Know If You’re Facing Discrimination at Work?
Discrimination in the workplace could involve treating some groups of employees differently than other groups or experiencing a sudden change in treatment after an employer discovers that you are part of a protected group. Possible signs of discrimination at work are:
- Being excluded from events or meetings
- A reduction in hours or pay
- Seemingly unwarranted changes in job performance reviews
- Sudden change in duties or workload
- Dismissal of applicants with ethnic names
- Mocking a person for their accent, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic
- Varying levels of rule enforcement between workers of different backgrounds
Even if your employer is part of the same protected class that they discriminate against, they can still be held responsible for their actions.
What Remedies Could You Be Awarded After Experiencing an Unlawful Termination?
If you have been fired for filing a report for harassment or discrimination in a California workplace, an experienced employment lawyer may be able to help you recover damages such as:
- Back pay (previously lost wages)
- Front pay (future lost earnings)
- Hiring / Reinstatement
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Policy changes
- Reasonable accommodation
- Damages for emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Attorney’s fees and costs
Complaints of employment discrimination or retaliation must be filed within three years of the date of the last incident in California, so do not wait to seek legal representation and begin pursuing your claim.
Partner with an Award-Winning Employment Law Firm in Beverly Hills, California
California state law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting harassment or discrimination. If you have been wrongfully terminated, Blackstone Law can provide you with the aggressive representation you deserve. We provide each of our clients with exceptional, compassionate service and treat our clients like family.
As a legal firm composed of industry veterans, we are highly regarded for providing our clients with the strongest legal representation available in Beverly Hills. Call us today at (310) 956-4054 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation for your case. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to pay us anything until we succeed in recovering compensation for you.