Discrimination and HarassmentLitigation: It's What We Do.
Calabasas Discrimination & Harassment Lawyers
Responsive and Client-Focused Advocates with Over 5 Decades of Experience
If you are facing discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you have the right to take legal action against your employer. Our discrimination and harassment attorneys at Gaines & Gaines are frequently called upon to represent employees throughout California who have been victims of employment discrimination or harassment.
We represent employees in civil litigation in both state and federal courts, as well as in mediations and administrative hearings before boards and commissions like the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
For experienced and attentive legal representation, contact Gaines & Gaines online. Our Calabasas discrimination and harassment attorneys are here to fight for you.
What Do California Discrimination Laws Protect Against?
State and federal laws protect employees from being discriminated against based on a variety of characteristics, including:
- National origin
- And disability
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) governing this subject applies to both public and private employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies.
Keep in mind that employment discrimination refers to more than just hiring and firing and encompasses nearly every employment decision, including:
- Applications and interviews
- Assignments and transfers
- And benefits
Discriminations Laws and What They Protect
Major discrimination laws and classes they protect include:
- Title VII – race, color, national origin, sex, religion
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – people with a disability, a record of a disability, or who are regarded as having a disability
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions that must be treated the same as any other medical condition with respect to leave policies, health insurance, job assignments, etc.
Harassment in the Workplace
The FEHA also prohibits harassment based on a protected category against:
- An employee
- An applicant
- An unpaid intern or volunteer
- Or a contractor
One type of workplace harassment is sexual harassment, which can occur when a supervisor demands sexual favors from a subordinate in return for positive job treatment (or threats of negative consequences if the employee refuses to comply).
However, sexual harassment need not only be based on this type of quid pro quo activity; any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which is so severe and pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment is also considered illegal harassment.
Note that superiors are not the only individuals who can create a hostile environment under workplace harassment laws. Co-workers and even customers can create this atmosphere through inappropriate touching, obscene talk or gestures, graffiti, etc. This type of harassment can be perpetrated by females upon males or vice versa, and even among members of the same sex.
Under the FEHA, employees who experience harassment in the workplace have the right to sue their employer for damages. Additionally, employers of 5 or more employees are required to provide sexual harassment training to supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, and employees who believe that their employer has not complied with these training and education requirements may file a complaint with the DFEH.
The key distinction between workplace discrimination and workplace harassment is that discrimination occurs when the discriminating party is engaged in activities that are part of their official job duties, whereas harassment occurs when the harassing party engages in behavior that is outside their job description and official duties.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Gaines & Gaines
If you feel threatened at work or believe you may have been discriminated against, contact a qualified attorney at Gaines & Gaines for advice. Our discrimination and harassment lawyers are particularly experienced in this area of law and can help you challenge infringements on your rights to overtime pay due to discrimination, for example.
To have an attentive and responsive discrimination attorney evaluate your claim, contact Gaines & Gaines today.