We regularly litigate these claims before government agencies and the courts, bringing our special understanding and expertise to protect your dignity and enforce your rights in the workplace.
The Federal Civil Rights Act of 1991, as amended, as well as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, provide that employees may not be discriminated against based on age, race, religion, gender, marital status, disability or sexual orientation. This applies to the hiring process, promotions, raises, scheduling of vacations, or any other significant employment benefit. Discrimination may entail a pervasive “hostile work environment”, permeated with racial overtones, slurs, jokes or the like, and may also entail the deprivation of a material job benefit or denial of a medically necessary reasonable accommodation..
Hostile environment claims arise where discriminatory intent surfaces through unfair performance reviews, discipline, or wrongful terminations, (typically by managers other than the original hiring manager). Retaliation for objecting to unlawful practices is also protected under both federal and state civil rights laws, as well as California's Whistleblowers Protection law.
It is often difficult to prove discriminatory motive, while treating an individual in a protected class differently from their peers does not, itself, prove discriminatory intent, although such disparate treatment is certainly core evidence of discriminatory practices.
Age discrimination may additionally be proven through an employer’s having established practices or policies which adversely affect older members of the workforce, without any actual intent to discriminate against its older workforce. One instance of this is where a company establishes a practice of eliminating the higher paid positions. This may constitute age discrimination where such higher paid positions are predominantly a result of promotions, pay raises and long tenure, traits possessed by older workers.
It is important to promptly seek legal counseling if you feel that you may be the victim of discrimination in the workplace. Often companies will “ramp up” discipline, also referred to as “papering” the employee out. This often begins with pretextual performance criticisms, which may be accompanied by outright lying. Over the course of up to 90 days, the employee may find himself on a Performance Improvement Plan, or other corrective counseling, with either ill-defined or impossible goals to achieve in order to remedy the situation. Don’t wait until this occurs. If you believe that there is discrimination involved, act promptly to seek legal advice in order to manage the situation before you lose your job. While discrimination may often be hard to prove, retaliation for objecting to same frequently presents a more available proof that the warning was pretextual or that discipline promptly followed the objection to discrimination. Discrimination claimants are required to timely exhaust their administrative remedies before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), (within 300 days of the last event of discrimination in California), or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), (within 1 year of the last act of discrimination).
At the Advocacy Center for Employment Law, we can thoroughly evaluate each case on its facts and offer clear advice on the law and potential remedies, both prior to, and if necessary, throughout litigation or agency mediation process with our many years of successful representation in such claims.