We live in a new world, where technology has changed so many aspects of how we work. Technology and social networks have made immediate contact possible between every employee and their supervisors, creating massive economies of scale.
But they have made instant surveillance possible, too, and never has it been harder to work without feeling the effects of sexual harassment and discrimination. We understand this new technical landscape, and the often subtle ways workers can be mistreated.
Our client base includes employees at some of the world’s biggest and most sophisticated companies and ranges from C suite executives and engineers to senior scientists and program managers. We have handled brick-and-mortar employment claims as well, representing nurses and security guards, to sales representatives and professors.
Have you been the victim of discrimination at work?
Discrimination based on any protected classification is illegal. In stride with Federal laws, California has established powerful anti-discrimination laws through its Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA). Local city law may provide even further protection for their citizens by preventing employers from engaging in height/weight screenings or other similar measures that discriminate against certain groups without cause.
We understand the complexities of the modern workplace, and the increasing need for employees to understand the nature of their rights, even as the nature of our work changes. We are here for your call if you need an employment discrimination lawyer.
If you believe you are the victim of employment discrimination or harassment in the San Francisco Bay Area, our office is available for a free consultation to review your file and counsel you as to your options.
Types of Work Discrimination Cases
Employment discrimination can take many forms, some blatant and others far more subtle. A combination of federal and state laws protects job applicants and employees from certain types of discrimination at the workplace.
Federal laws include:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Age Discrimination Act of 1967
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990
- Civil Rights Act of 1991
- Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008
Courts have interpreted these laws to prohibit discrimination in employment—recruitment, hiring, salary, retention, promotion, and termination—based on age, disability, genetics, marital status, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.
In addition, California has its own set of anti-discrimination laws:
- Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA) of 1959
- Racial Discrimination Act of 1975
- Anti-Discrimination Act of 1977
- Sex Discrimination Act of 1984
- Fair Work Act of 2009
What is workplace discrimination?
Workplace discrimination is prohibited based on categories, which include the following:
- Age: It is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee over the age of 40 merely because of age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. That means that you cannot favor younger applicants or employees over older ones.
- Race: Neither your race nor the race of your partner or relatives should impact any employment decisions.
- National Origin: Where you come from, or where other employees assume you are from, should not be any part of any employment decisions.
- Sex: You may not be treated differently based on your sex or gender identity.
- Equal Pay: Men and women are to be given the same pay for equal work.
- Religion: You may not be treated unfairly because of your religious, ethical, or moral beliefs or practices.
- Pregnancy: An employer cannot discriminate against a pregnant employee, and pregnancy or the capacity to become pregnant should not be a factor in decisions related to hiring, firing, promotions, and job assignments.
- Harassment: Your employer is obligated to provide a workplace that is free from unwelcome conduct based on your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age if older than 40, national origin, disability, or certain private genetic information.
- Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical harassment, including being subjected to a hostile work environment.
- Disability: A qualified job applicant or employee must be offered reasonable accommodation by an employer to allow that employee to work.
- Genetics: With genetic information widely available, it is now illegal for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on genetic information.
What Should I Do If I Am Experiencing Discrimination or Harassment at Work?
If you are a job applicant, an employee, a C suite executive, or even a co-founder of a company, you are protected in the workplace against discrimination and harassment. If you are a job applicant who believes you suffered adverse treatment by your employer for discriminatory reasons, you should contact an experienced employment discrimination lawyer immediately to analyze your case.
The first thing to do as an employee is to print and save your employee handbook. This handbook should include procedures for filing an internal complaint for either discrimination or harassment. Because there are strict time frames during which you must file a claim, it is important to call a skilled and experienced attorney to engage your employer in dialogue before your rights lapse.
How Does an Employment Discrimination Lawyer and Harassment Help?
Some claims can be settled by negotiation, whereas others might first require an administrative complaint. If unresolved and factually legitimate, then a right to sue letter might be issued, permitting a complaint to be filed in court for resolution at trial. Your success depends on available evidence as well as the skill of your California employment discrimination lawyer.
A successful claimant—whether a job applicant, employee, temporary employee, or unpaid intern—can receive civil damages:
- Compensation for any unfair employment practices, including any money lost as a result of those practices
- Attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs
- Reinstatement to employment
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
Employment Discrimination and Harassment FAQs
How do I know if I have been hurt by a discriminatory practice? There are many ways a protected employee can be discriminated against at work. For instance, pay disparities between men and women, or on the basis of race, are actionable. Failing to get a promotion because of your age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is actionable. Having to withstand constant, or even intermittent harassment from co-workers or a supervisor because of a protected category is also actionable. Discussing your workplace situation with a knowledgeable attorney can reveal whether you have a viable claim.
Contact our California Employment Discrimination Lawyer at the Law Office of Scott R. Herndon
If you believe that you are being illegally discriminated against or harassed at work, you should consult with a knowledgeable and skilled employment discrimination lawyer. Scott R. Herndon is a plaintiff’s lawyer. He has years of experience as a practicing attorney and, at Stanford University, taught some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley. At the Law Office of Scott R. Herndon you will find skilled and intelligent advocates who understand the complexities of the contemporary workplace. We will review your circumstances in a free consultation and realistically evaluate your claim. Whether we help negotiate improved severance agreements, file claims with the EEOC or appropriate California agencies or bring a lawsuit for damages, our office will fully apprise you of your options so that your dignity and career are protected. Contact us today at 415.360.5477.