What Are the Common Categories of Workplace Discrimination?
There are five common categories of workplace discrimination: pregnancy, age, gender, racial, and disability. A knowledgeable workplace discrimination attorney can explain the California laws that apply to these categories. Under California law, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee or potential employee based on these protected categories.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prevents discrimination related to pregnancy for businesses with fifteen or more employees. In addition to blatant discrimination, such as termination or retaliatory actions, pregnancy discrimination can also include more subtle events, such as failure to promote or a reduction of hours. Some common examples of pregnancy discrimination at the workplace include:
- Refusal to hire a woman because she is pregnant or may become pregnant
- Refusal to provide reasonable accommodations for a woman’s pregnancy-related disabilities
- Discriminating against a woman for their need to breastfeed, pump, or treat a medical condition related to breastfeeding
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees from unscrupulous practices based on age. Age discrimination commonly affects individuals who are age 40 or older. This discrimination can include refusing to provide retirement benefits, refusing to hire, or reducing health benefits.
Across all 50 States, employers are prohibited from discriminating based on sex or gender. However, it is reported that over 40% of American women still experience some form of gender discrimination at work. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community of all genders are also frequently subjected to gender discrimination. From unequal pay to sexual harassment, employees of any gender have the right to perform their duties without discrimination.
Racial discrimination is often challenging to prove. Many employers disguise their actions as justifiable business practices. However, racial discrimination is illegal and punishable by law. The following are examples of racial discrimination in the workplace:
- Harassment because of one’s race
- Indirect discrimination
- Direct discrimination
Once you are employed, employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for your disability. Disability discrimination may involve a refusal to accommodate, reduction of compensation packages or refusal to provide accessible working conditions.
While the above forms of workplace discrimination are most common, it is essential to remember that they are by no means comprehensive. You may also experience discrimination based on your religious expression, sexual orientation, or because of other immutable personal characteristics. If you do not see your situation reflected as a category above, do not hesitate to contact the workplace discrimination attorneys at Blackstone Law for a free consultation.
How to File a Workplace Discrimination Complaint in Los Angeles, CA?
Before you can initiate a lawsuit against your employer, you must first file a workplace discrimination complaint through the California Civil Rights Department (CRD). An employee must exhaust all options available, which means you may have to go through the complaints process first.
You may request an immediate right-to-sue notice without having to go through the CRD investigation process. However, this is only advisable if you have an experienced workplace discrimination attorney. Your attorney may file a right-to-sue notice on your behalf in a California Superior Court in the county where the discrimination occurred.
Although workplace discrimination is challenging to prove, it is not impossible. Evidence of discrimination may be subtle or overt but demonstrates that you were treated differently than other employees. For example, you may experience:
- Sudden shifts in job performance reviews
- Exclusion from meetings and events
- Insults to your accent or sexual orientation
- Failure to consider applicants with ethnic-sounding names
- Change in work responsibilities or workload increases
- Reduced hours or reduced pay
- Unequal pay
- Varied rule enforcement involving workers of different backgrounds
- Failure to put a stop to racist or sexist remarks in the workplace
In order to obtain a successful outcome in a workplace discrimination case, you must show evidence to demonstrate discriminatory actions against you. This may include documentation that proves demotion or reductions in wages or hours.
With the help of an experienced workplace discrimination attorney at Blackstone Law, you may compare your employment conditions prior to the discriminatory incident, such as pay stubs, performance reviews, personal notes, or other records.
Recoverable Damages in a Successful Workplace Discrimination Case in Los Angeles, CA
The value of your case may depend on various factors, including the extent of the discrimination you experienced and any other harm you suffered. You may recover economic damages, punitive damages, or equitable remedies, which may include the following:
- Back wages and interest
- Front pay
- Missed promotion pay
- Demotion pay
- Pension benefits
- Bonus pay
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional suffering
- Court costs and attorneys’ fees
If an employer’s discriminatory actions are found to be egregious or malicious, you may also be eligible to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish wrongful acts of the employer to ensure the behavior is not repeated.
Statute of Limitations in a Workplace Discrimination Case
Depending on the circumstances of your workplace discrimination case, deadlines can vary for filing a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination violations. The time limit greatly depends on how you handle the complaint process. You must file a complaint with the CRD within three years of the discriminatory incident.
You must obtain a right-to-sue notice before you can file a lawsuit. After you are issued the notice of your right to sue, you then have one year to file a lawsuit with a state court.
Should I Hire a Los Angeles Workplace Discrimination Attorney?
Knowing your rights is crucial if you are an employee targeted by employment discrimination. Employment discrimination is a serious matter that can affect you financially, emotionally, and career-wise. You have every right to take action. Hiring an experienced employment lawyer is critical to finding a successful resolution.
Attorneys experienced with handling workplace discrimination cases often offer the following services:
- Evaluate if you have a valid claim
- Conduct a cost-benefit analysis
- Explain your legal options
- Gather evidence in support of your case
- Represent you in court
Discrimination cases are not always clear-cut. Plaintiffs in these cases must put in a lot of work to prove that the discrimination they experienced was illegal and intentional. It can be challenging to demonstrate your employer’s motivations, especially given how few businesses are naive enough to admit that they are biased or discriminatory. You will need to assemble sufficient proof to persuade a court or jury that your employer’s actions were motivated by discrimination.
When you retain the services of an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer, you can get the support you need to file a successful claim. Your lawyer will have the legal knowledge, resources, and trial experience to effectively guide you through this process. You can gain a good sense of the preparation your case will require during your initial consultation.
Should I Hire an Attorney After Being Discriminated Against in the Workplace?
Workplace discrimination cases frequently involve sensitive information. When selecting a Los Angeles workplace discrimination attorney, you should search for one who can become your partner throughout the litigation process.
Some other key qualifying characteristics to look for are:
- A law firm that has extensive experience with California law regarding workplace discrimination
- A law firm that has exceptional client testimonials and great results
- A team of award-winning lawyers
- A law firm that values honesty and integrity
- A law firm that works on a contingency basis, which means the law firm only gets paid when you get paid
Blackstone Law treats each client like family and gives the utmost to their cause at all times.
Why Choose the Los Angeles Workplace Discrimination Lawyers at Blackstone Law?
Every job discrimination case is unique, and every Los Angeles discrimination lawyer has a different case management style. Although we cannot promise a quick fix, we will stay in constant contact as your case progresses and work to manage your expectations at every stage of the process. The foundation of our practice is genuine compassion for our clients. As employment discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles, we constantly strive to uphold the rights of the individuals we represent.
Whenever you have questions, you can reach your discrimination attorneys for a quick response. Your best interests are our highest priority, whether that means accepting a settlement or proceeding to trial. When you need dedicated, determined, and honest legal representation, contact Blackstone Law for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or calling (310) 956-4054.
Frequently Asked Questions About Los Angeles Employment Discrimination
Can temporary workers file a discrimination lawsuit in Los Angeles, California?
- Agency workers can, and do, bring discrimination claims against the organization where they are working temporarily. They can also file suit against the agency that placed them at the business where they suffered the discrimination. California law has recently redefined the definition of “employee” so temporary workers will have similar rights as any other employee.
What type of damages may I be able to recover from a Los Angeles workplace discrimination lawsuit?
- There are two main types of damages, compensatory and punitive, that you can recover from a discrimination lawsuit in California
- Compensatory damages can include paying employees for out-of-pocket expenses such as costs associated with a job search or medical expenses, any emotional harm suffered such as mental anguish, inconvenience, or loss of enjoyment of life, back pay, front pay, and even attorney’s fees and costs.
- Punitive damages may be awarded to punish an employer who has committed an especially malicious or reckless act of discrimination. They are also often used to reform or deter the employer and others from engaging in similar conduct.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a discrimination claim in California?
- You have three years from the date that you have most recently been harassed, discriminated or retaliated against to file a complaint of discrimination with the The Civil Rights Department (“CRD”), and only one year from the issuance of a Right to Sue Notice by the CRD to file a discrimination, harassment or retaliation lawsuit. For this reason, we recommend that you contact a Los Angeles discrimination attorney as soon as possible.
Contact the Los Angeles discrimination attorneys at Blackstone Law today!