Los Angeles Labor Lawyer for Employees: Discrimination Claims and More
The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers files lawsuits on behalf of Los Angeles area employees who have suffered discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination comes in many forms. The following are some common examples of discrimination in the workplace and what to do if you believe you have been unjustly fired, denied a promotion, or exposed to bullying and harassment.
Types of Employment Discrimination in Los Angeles
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees based on specific characteristics. The federal rules have been adopted by every state, but California provides additional protections. For example, California’s anti-discrimination laws included the LGBT community long before the Supreme Court reinterpreted existing law to include gender expression and sexual orientation. Additionally, individual cities have their own laws regarding protected classes. These are some of the most common types of employment discrimination:
- Wrongful termination – Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired for exercising their rights. Commonly, an employee will file some other form of complaint with a supervisor or their human resources department, and their company will respond by terminating their employment. Retaliatory firing is illegal and the Los Angeles employment attorneys at The Wright Law Firm represent workers who have found themselves in this situation.
- Discrimination in hiring practices and promoting – In some cases, employees who are qualified for a certain position can be passed up for another employee who is less qualified but shares racial or gender features in common with the employer. Race or gender can never be the basis of a hiring or promotion. Let us know if this is your situation!
- Wage disputes and misclassification lawsuits – Sometimes, an employer will intentionally misclassify an employee to avoid paying overtime, benefits, or avoid covering them under their workers’ compensation policy. In cases in which the employer supplies tools, directs the employee when to show up, or exerts substantial control over how the job is completed, California law requires that the employer treat the worker as an employee. Employee classification law is changing, so please contact us if you have questions about your situation.
- Americans with Disabilities Act – According to the ADA, an employer is expected to make “reasonable” accommodations to an employee who has a disability. So long as their disability does not prevent them from doing their job, an employer may not consider their disability when deciding to hire or promote them.
- Hostile work environment – A hostile work environment occurs when an employee no longer feels safe on the job or is forced to endure unwanted attention or bullying in the workplace. Sexual harassment lawsuits are generally a form of hostile work environment action, but any employee who is the butt of unwanted jokes can file a hostile work environment lawsuit against their employer.
- Sexual harassment lawsuits – Generally speaking, filing a sexual harassment claim against a supervisor or fellow employee requires that you first alert management to the unwanted attention. However, some conduct is so egregious, like forcible touching, that it “automatically” creates a hostile work environment. All Los Angeles area employees and workers are entitled to complete their work safely and in peace.
Hiring, Firing, and Promoting: Understanding the Law
As a Southern California employee, you are entitled to a workplace and work environment that is free from discrimination. Title VII of The Civil Rights Act defines protected characteristics that can never form the basis of discrimination. These include:
- Nation of origin
- Familial status
Sex and gender protections now also include sexual orientation and gender expression at the federal level. In the past, those filing lawsuits that alleged discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender expression were required to file a lawsuit under California’s Civil Rights Act. The Supreme Court recently ruled that sexual orientation and gender expression were both protected under the “sex and gender” provisions of Title VII.
The aforementioned protected characteristics may never form the basis of a decision to hire, fire, promote, or assign work to an individual. Even when our intentions are in the right place, the workplace may be structured in such a way as to promote discrimination or unequal pay between genders and races for comparable work. When this happens, an employee may file a discrimination lawsuit. The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers helps Los Angeles area employees who have been discriminated against file lawsuits against their employers.
Wage and Hour Discrimination Laws
Because of California’s labor-friendly laws, many employers sought to use independent contractors instead of employees – often because independent contractors are not entitled to overtime, benefits, or coverage under workers’ compensation policies. Employees are.
In September of 2019, California passed AB5 which significantly changed these laws. Now, many individuals who were previously independent contractors are considered employees under the new laws. How this will play out is not yet known. But it is illegal for your employer to classify you as an independent contractor unless your job fits the legal description. If you believe you have been denied benefits, mistreated, or denied overtime based on employment misclassification, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Hostile Work Environment Claims
When most people think of hostile work environment claims, they are thinking about sexual harassment. One employee has the hots for another employee and they continuously attempt to flirt with that employee, make sexual comments, or otherwise harass them. However, racial discrimination, age discrimination, or disability discrimination can also cause a hostile work environment.As an example, if an employee is constantly the butt of jokes because he is older than the other employees, that employee may get tired of hearing the jokes. If he files a complaint with a supervisor and the jokes continue, that can be the basis for a hostile work environment lawsuit.
Talk to an Experienced Employment Lawyer Today
You do not have to tolerate being the butt of jokes, being passed up for promotions, or denied opportunities when you are more than qualified to do the job. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, age discrimination, or discrimination based on any protected characteristic, you can fight back with the help of The Wright Law Firm Employment Lawyers.