I know that we’ve said something like this before “It’s 2022, surely we must have progressed as a society to the point where we face no discrimination.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There’s still a lot of discrimination being perpetrated in the world even in a world veiled with “professionalism.” Discrimination runs rampant in the workplace, but there are laws in place that, paired with a California Employment Law Attorney, have your back.
What California law protects me from discrimination in the workplace?
The law that protects you is The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
What is FEHA?
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act, more commonly known as FEHA, is a California law that protects employees from discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in the workplace and in many cases from their employers.
Who is Protected by FEHA?
Federal law already prohibits employers to discriminate against employees and applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and opposition or participation of activities. California takes this a step further. FEHA expressly protects an array of broadly defined additional statuses:
any perception that an individual has a protected characteristic, and any perception that an individual is associated with a person who has, or is perceived to have, a protected characteristic
marital or domestic partner status
gender, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status
pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth
breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding
all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice, including religious dress and grooming practices
veteran or military status
If any of these apply to you then you are in a Protected Class.
Was I discriminated against at work?
Without direct evidence, proving discrimination can be tricky. Many employers do stupid things, but they are still aware that a discrimination lawsuit can be very costly. Therefore, most discrimination is subtle.
For example, if you believe that you were terminated because of your gender identity, but your employers didn’t directly state that this was the reason for your termination, maybe they pointed towards a violation of company policy, there is not much that attorney can do, but if you were retaliated against for performing a protected activity, then that opens the door for you and a lawsuit against your employers.
What is a protected activity? Was I retaliated against?
Under California Law, you have legal protection from retaliation doing any of the following protected activities.
Filing a complaint or informing any person of an employer's or other party's alleged violation of the Labor Code or a local ordinance, if the complaint or disclosure is made in good faith.
Informing a person of his or her potential rights and remedies under the Labor Code or a local ordinance.
Assisting an employee in asserting his or her rights.
These are all things that you may do if you believe that you or one of your coworkers have been discriminated against.
What can I do if I was discriminated against or retaliated against for performing a protected activity at work?
Discrimination is not cool, but if you enjoy your job and workplace, then try to If you were discriminated against at work you should try to resolve this with your HR department or supervisor.
If you’ve taken the first step and were then retaliated against and even terminated, then you should immediately file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
You won’t be able to file a lawsuit until a complaint has been filed and you’ve received a right to sue.
Our staff at Hall Law Group will be able to help you every step of the way.
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Or call us now at (949) 203-1682