Discrimination on the basis of sex, age, race, color, religion, disability, or national origin is not only wrong, it is illegal. There is an extensive and well-established body of law regarding the wrongfulness of discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, discriminatory adverse employment actions such as failure to hire, failure to promote, demotion, and termination still take place, creating victims out of innocent employees for no other reason than the prejudices of an unscrupulous employer. Discrimination against employees suffering from a disability is particularly common, as many otherwise reasonable and fair-minded employers will try to save money or increase productivity by denying a reasonable accommodation to a disabled employee.
Unlawful discrimination may also take the form of workplace harassment. Perhaps the most familiar is sexual harassment, where coworkers or supervisors make unwanted sexual advances or engage in other inappropriate sexual behavior. There are other types of harassment, as well: for example, when the behavior of employees or supervisors creates a work environment that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to individuals of a particular race, ethnicity, or ability. Whatever form it takes, workplace harassment on the basis of a protected characteristic is illegal, and employees are entitled to proper treatment and compensation when they have been harassed at work.
If you have been treated unfairly at work because of a protected characteristic like those listed above, you may be entitled to compensation pursuant to both state and Federal law. This compensation may consist of money damages for harm you suffered, money damages as punishment for your employer, reinstatement, promotion, or other appropriate relief.
If you have suffered workplace discrimination or harassment, we recommend that you contact us immediately to schedule a confidential case evaluation with one of our attorneys, so that we can provide you with guidance tailored to your particular situation. Typically, you have three years from the date of the adverse employment action to file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Once a claim has been filed, and a right to sue letter has been issued, you have one year to file a claim in superior court, which is why it is imperative to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your claims.