Workplace Discrimination Claim in California

An ideal workplace is a venue where fairness and equality always prevail. With a lot of employers and companies providing individuals the chance to work and contribute regardless of their beliefs or physical characteristics, the notion of equal opportunity has truly lingered within the realm of employment. Such is California, which is known for having one of the best employee-friendly laws among other states in the U.S.

People of various beliefs, attributes, and imperfections live in one of the highly-populated states in the U.S., which is why there is no doubt that a lot of companies and employers operating their businesses there would want to promote fairness and equality in their respective workplaces. To begin with, the federal and state laws that are currently in effect in California protect these individuals from prejudice. The same laws are also stringent enough that covered employers and companies are immensely required to adhere with them. However, that is not always the case most times. Unlawful conduct that is discriminatory, in fact, continues to be a recurring problem in the workplace despite the prevailing employment laws.

Basically, workplace discrimination in California greatly damages not only the fairness and equality that is already present in employment by virtue of the prevailing laws, but also the person being targeted of the unlawful conduct. The most common forms of discrimination in the workplace can occur in any aspect of employment, from hiring to termination, and involve employment actions that are being done on the basis of one’s protected characteristic: race, color, sex, gender, disability, national origin, medical condition, religion, and marital status, among others. They also occur when an employee exercises a right, like filing a workers’ compensation claim or a medical and/or family leave.

Generally, discrimination in the workplace could either be in the form of “disparate treatment” or “disparate impact.”

  • Disparate treatment is a notion wherein a certain individual at work is being singled out in employment based on his or her protected trait, while others who don’t share the same characteristic as the employee and who are similarly situated as him or her aren’t. For example, a Hispanic worker was terminated because of poor performance reviews; however, it was found that some of his co-workers who are not Hispanic had the same results in their performance reviews but weren’t fired.
  • Disparate impact, meanwhile, is more complex than the disparate treatment, and it involves any employment practice or rule that may seem neutral but may greatly impact a specific protected class over another, albeit negatively and disproportionately. For instance, an employer decides to hire workers; however, in screening them, they must have at least a high school diploma. Such a requirement would likely eliminate African-Americans than Caucasians. So, although there is no intent of discrimination, it is already deemed as such because it disproportionately impacted certain workers based on their race.

Meanwhile, individuals who have California workplace discrimination, whether they have been terminated, denied of promotions or salary increases, reassigned to another job, demoted to lower positions, or harassed based on one’s protected characteristic, must be able to assert their rights. They may do so by filing their claims with the appropriate agency that can investigate unlawful conduct in the workplace. Such agencies include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Alternately, they may seek the expertise of reputable attorneys who specialize in workplace discrimination laws in California.

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