Discrimination and Harassment
Workplace Discrimination Lawyers
Discrimination is not only wrong, it is illegal. Fortunately, there are both state and federal laws that protect employees. As the employee, you cannot control if discrimination happens to you, but you can familiarize yourself with the general types of discrimination and take appropriate legal action. Each employment-related law contains different protections, definitions, penalties, and mechanisms for enforcement. The experienced legal counsel at Kingsley & Kingsley can guide you through your specific case.
Employment discrimination refers to more than just hiring and firing and encompasses nearly every employment decision, from applications and interviews to assignments and transfers, promotions, pay, and benefits. The major laws and classes they protect include:
- Title VII – race, color, national origin, sex, or religion – you are protected from discrimination regardless of your race, color, or national origin because of Title VII (portion of legislation that was created in the Civil Rights Act of 1964). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 greatly increased the level of protection from discrimination and other civil injustices for many Americans.Employees and applicants are protected against being treated unfavorably because of the individual’s race but also because of physical characteristics such as hair texture, color, and facial features associated with race. Although color discrimination may sound similar to race discrimination, it differs in that it involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.National origin discrimination is the unfavorable treatment of an employee or applicant because of where the individual, or the individual’s ancestors, came from. It also protects people from unfavorable treatment because of an accent.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – people with a disability, a record of a disability, or who are regarded as having a disability. Physical or mental disabilities in no way diminish a person’s right to fully participate in all aspects of society, yet many people with physical or mental disabilities have been precluded from doing so because of discrimination. Others who have a record of a disability or are regarded as having a disability also have been subjected to discrimination.
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – prohibits employers from treating a pregnant woman in an unfavorable way. This includes pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to childbirth or pregnancy, which must be treated the same as any other medical condition with respect to leave policies, health insurance, job assignments, etc. The most important thing to note regarding pregnancy discrimination is that the employer must treat pregnant employees in the same way as other temporarily disabled employees.
- Genetic Information Discrimination – on September 6, 2011, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (CalGINA), The law took effect on January 1, 2012. CalGINA amended anti-discrimination laws already in effect to prohibit genetic discrimination in areas, such as housing; mortgage lending; employment; education; and public accommodations.
The conduct may not be open and obvious, but rather is often kept quiet or concealed. The employer may even attempt to justify the discrimination by inaccurately depicting your job performance as below standard. This is not acceptable under the law in California.
If you are in one of the protected classes when the inappropriate conduct takes place, and it is serious enough to have an adverse effect on you, then speaking with legal counsel is the right step to take. You may feel self-doubt or want to wait, but often waiting simply allows further discrimination to occur and can sometimes affect your legal rights. Do not allow this illegal and hurtful activity to continue. Contact the workplace discrimination lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley to discuss your specific situation and protect yourself.
The California lawyers with Kingsley & Kingsley have the experience, ability, and desire to successfully navigate the legal process with you. For a free initial consultation, don’t hesitate to call our toll free number (888) 500-8469 or click here to contact us regarding your case.