Riverside, California, has a population of around 320,000, and many hard-working residents deserve to be treated fairly under the law by their employers. Unfortunately, not all employers in Riverside adhere to state and federal anti-discrimination laws. Suppose you have experienced discrimination for age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or another protected class. In that case, you may have the right to compensation through a legal claim against your employer.
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we represent employees in Riverside and the surrounding area in a wide range of employment cases, including anti-discrimination cases. From the moment you walk into our office, we will fight for your right to the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve to hold your employer accountable.
Your Employer Cannot Unlawfully Discriminate Against You
When employers engage in unlawful discrimination, employees have the right to hold them accountable through California’s employment laws. Left unchecked, unlawful discrimination can leave employees underpaid, wrongfully terminated, or subject to other adverse decisions in the workplace. Understanding your rights can help you stand up against your employer for discrimination. Your employer cannot unlawfully retaliate against you because you pursued a claim against them for discrimination.
California’s Anti-Discrimination Laws
California’s employment discrimination laws are among the most favorable for employees. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) was signed into law in 1980 and is the primary anti-discrimination law used by employees and renters. The FEHA law also created the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), an agency with the authority to investigate, resolve, and prosecute discrimination complaints from employers.
The agency is now the largest civil rights agency in any state in the country. FEHA Is more protective of employees than federal anti-discrimination laws, including the Civil Rights Act. For example, under federal and state law, employment discrimination based on membership in the following protected classes is unlawful:
- National origin
- Sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions
- Citizenship status
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Disability (physical or mental)
However, California protects more classes of individuals than federal law. Specifically, discrimination based on the following characteristics is illegal in California but legal under federal law:
- Disability (physical or mental)
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- AIDS or HIV status
- Medical conditions
- Political activities or affiliations
- Military or veteran status
- Status as a victim of domestic violence
- Status as a victim of assault
- Status as a victim of stalking
1992 the Fair Employment and Housing Act was amended to reflect federal anti-discrimination laws. At this time, the law was amended to allow employees to obtain actual damages, punitive damages, and reasonable attorney fees and costs when they succeed in discrimination lawsuits. Legally, California is well known as an employee-friendly state. If you suspect or know that your employer has discriminated against you. In that case, it is worth discussing your case with an attorney because you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Is My Employer Subjected to Anti-Discrimination Laws?
Fortunately, nearly all employers in Riverside and throughout California are required to follow federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Employers with 15 or more employees must abide by federal anti-discrimination laws with a few exceptions. In age discrimination cases, federal laws only apply to employers with 20 or more employees.
Citizenship status discrimination laws protect employers with four or more employees. Equal pay for men and women applies to all employers in the state of California. On the other hand, California’s anti-discrimination laws are more comprehensive than federal laws and apply to all employers with five or more employees.
Federal and state anti-discrimination laws protect age. Employers cannot discriminate against an employee because of their age as long as they are over 40. As a result, employers cannot use age as a deciding factor in any decision concerning hiring or firing, benefits, pay, job assignments, training, or promotion.
Anti-Discrimination Laws on National Origin
Employers cannot treat job applicants or employees unfavorably because of where they were born, which is known as national origin discrimination. National origin is a broad term that can refer to a specific country or even an area of the world, such as the middle east. It can also refer to a person’s ethnicity and how they talk. Protections even extend to a person’s marriage to another person from a certain geographic location or country.
Sexual or Gender Discrimination
Employers are prohibited from discriminating based on sex, gender, or sexual preference when making employment decisions, whether interviewing job applicants or deciding which employees should be fired or laid off.
Employers cannot discriminate against someone for actual or perceived disabilities. Disabilities do not have to be visible or physical for a person to be protected in California. Many different types of mental health diagnoses qualify as disabilities. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with eligible disabilities as long as the accommodations do not cause undue hardship for the employer.
Employers are never allowed to use a prospective employee or current employee’s race or color when making employment decisions. When employers and managers find out that racial discrimination has occurred in the workplace, they have a legal obligation to take action to stop it. They also should prevent it from happening again in the future. When many employees have experienced race-based or other prohibited discrimination in the workplace at the same company, they may have a right to pursue a class action lawsuit against their employer for compensation.
Discuss Your Case With a Riverside Employment Attorney
The sooner you reach out to an attorney, the sooner an attorney can begin fighting for you and protecting your rights. When you work with HKM Employment Attorneys, you can rest assured we will handle every aspect of your case from start to finish. Our experienced negotiators are prepared to advocate for the total value of your claim. Do not hesitate to contact HKM Employment Attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight for you.