Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyer

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Discrimination

If racial, religious, gender or disability discrimination at work has made your professional life miserable, you should remember this important fact: You have rights. You may also be eligible for compensation for lost wages, lost benefits and emotional suffering. A Los Angeles discrimination lawyer can help you seek compensation.

At the Law Offices of Reisner & King LLP, we vigorously represent victims of employment discrimination. Our skilled employment lawyers work zealously to protect the rights of employees who have been discriminated against in the workplace — in hiring and firing, promotions and demotions, assignments and accommodations.

For a free consultation, call 818-981-0901 to speak with the Los Angeles employment law attorneys who get results — and have since 1999.

Protecting Your Rights In The Workplace

The Law Offices of Reisner & King LLP provides results-oriented representation in these types of employment discrimination cases:

  • Race, color
  • Ancestry, national origin
  • Religion, creed
  • Age (40 and over)
  • Disability, mental and physical
  • Sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity, gender expression; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Transgender, Intersex, Pansexual, Androgynous and Asexual (LGBTQIA)
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Military or veteran status
  • Pregnancy, disability due to pregnancy

Our compassionate attorneys can also be of service if you have been retaliated against by an employer or wrongfully terminated for reporting discriminatory practices.

Act now to ensure that your rights are protected in the workplace by speaking with the Law Offices of Reisner & King LLP. We know how to investigate, negotiate, mediate and litigate favorable outcomes for plaintiffs in a broad range of employment law disputes.

When representing you, we will work tirelessly to obtain compensation and justice and to restore your dignity.

What Is Discrimination?

Discrimination can happen on purpose or accidentally. It involves any employee who receives adverse consequences or adverse employment actions from an employer due to belonging to a protected class or category of protected characteristics. There are two different types of discrimination that require different types of proof.

Most discrimination cases that happen in the workplace are a result of disparate treatment discrimination. This is when an employer specifically acts against someone due to their membership of a protected class or protected characteristics. Common actions that count as disparate treatment discrimination include things like:

  • Applying and Hiring: It can be difficult to prove that an employer did not hire someone for a discriminatory reason, but if someone’s protected characteristic was a motive for the denial, it might be considered discrimination.
  • Promotions: If two people with similar qualifications, performance, and experience levels are up for a promotion, an employer must promote one of them for a legitimate reason that does not concern their protected class. This can also apply to an individual who performed better than others but was not promoted.
  • Adverse Employment Actions: “Adverse action” means any action that harms or has a negative effect on an aggrieved employee. Examples include unjust discipline, demotion, decreased work hours, shifts and responsibilities, and setting an employee up to fail.
  • Firing: Membership of a protected class is not a valid reason to fire someone. This includes things like firing someone after they develop a disability or a medical condition, or if they become pregnant. One common indicator of discrimination when firing is if you suddenly receive harsher treatment or negative performance reviews with little evidence to back them up and then get fired for poor performance.

Understanding Disparate Impact Discrimination

Disparate impact discrimination can be more difficult to prove, but it still counts as discrimination. This form can apply even when an employer does not realize the severity of their actions or impact on the employees they are discriminating against. Disparate impact discrimination can include a wide variety of things, such as:

  • Testing: Certain forms of tests or application measures can negatively impact certain groups of people, especially those with disabilities. This can count as disparate impact discrimination.
  • Meetings: Holding meetings outside of regular business hours or requiring employees who work from home to attend in-person meetings can create negative consequences for those who live farther away from their jobs or have responsibilities outside of work, like childcare or caregiving.
  • Policies: Certain company policies might seem innocuous but put members of certain protected classes at a disadvantage. Some examples include requiring employees to wear certain hairstyles (harming people with certain racial or ethnic backgrounds), incentivizing employees for physical activity (impacting disabled or older individuals), or requiring people to work on religious holidays.

In order to prove discrimination, you have to be able to prove that the action negatively impacted you solely based on your membership in a protected class. It might seem difficult to prove discrimination, but an attorney can help gather evidence and tell you what you need for a claim.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

You need an attorney who can listen to your suspicions or doubts to determine whether your employer’s actions violate employment law. If they find that they do, then they can help you file a complaint with California’s Labor Board. An attorney can help make sure your complaint has as much evidence as can be found and that it’s filed correctly and on time to meet the statute of limitation deadlines.

If your case advances further in the legal system, an attorney can represent your case in trial. They can determine whether you are eligible for financial compensation and how much you might ask for. They can also help gather more evidence to prove discrimination in court.

Outlining the Discrimination Claim Process

If you have determined that you might have a discrimination claim that occurred within the past three years, there are several steps you can take to attempt to recover damages. While every claim is different, most discrimination claims follow a general order:

  1. Choose a Department: Most discrimination claims benefit from filing a complaint with California’s Civil Rights Department, or CRD. You can file federally through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, or file a legal case, but a state complaint is generally more friendly toward plaintiffs and costs less than going to court immediately.
  2. Gather Evidence: In most cases, some form of evidence is required to show that the discriminatory actions were taking place. Collecting this evidence is important to do, ideally before any paperwork is officially filed. For example, securing text messages, emails, video and audio recordings, doctor’s notes and communications with your employer and obtaining witnesses, is important. This increases the likelihood of a positive outcome from a complaint.
  3. Fill Out the Form: The CRD has a specific form to fill out, which can be done digitally or sent by mail. It can be helpful to fill out this form with an attorney to make sure it is filed correctly.
  4. Interview: After the form is filed and processed, a representative from the CRD reaches out and conducts an intake interview. This interview is designed to gather more information from the applicant about what went on and whether or not it violates the law.
  5. CRD Decision: Once the interview is completed, the CRD will decide whether or not to represent your case. If they do, they will help you develop and serve a formal complaint to your employer. If they do not, they can give you a right-to-sue letter that gives you the ability to form a case against your employer.
  6. Mediation: The CRD may offer free mediation services for people it chooses to represent. If the employee chooses to do so, they can have their case mediated by a third party to prevent extensive wait times and legal fees. If the employee and employer are able to reach an agreement through the mediation process, then the CRD case can be closed. If they are unsuccessful, they move to the next step of the process.
  7. Employer Response: Once an official complaint has been served to an employer, they must respond to it within a certain time period. This response can determine the future of your case, depending on the strength of the employer’s argument.
  8. Final Decision: If additional investigations occur, the CRD will issue a final decision once they have reviewed all the evidence available. They can either choose to file a claim for the employee or refuse to file one and provide a right-to-sue letter.

The CRD relies on a number of criteria when evaluating whether or not to file a claim for you. Evidence plays a large role, but other factors include things like whether the CRD has the time and/or staff to pursue it. They also consider the employer’s side of the story, especially if they are offering a solution or other items that the employee does not accept.

It is also important to remember that only certain employers qualify for CRD complaints. They must employ at least five people and be a “covered employer.” There are certain exceptions to covered employers, namely religious or federal associations.

Just because the CRD chooses to close your case does not mean that you have to stop pursuing it. A right-to-sue notice allows you to take the matter further by filing a legal case. For assistance navigating a CRD decision or a legal discrimination case against an employer, contact a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer.

Get Legal Help Today

For a free consultation, call 818-981-0901 or send an email. We represent employees throughout California. Spanish and Armenian language translation services are available upon request.

FAQs

Q: What Constitutes Discrimination in California?

A: In California, an employer treating an individual or a group of employees differently due to membership of a protected class constitutes discrimination. Discrimination can either be intentional or appear unintentional and can happen at any stage of the employment process, including hiring, firing, promotions, and new company policies. Determining whether an action is discrimination or not can be difficult, so it’s a good idea to ask an attorney.

Q: How Do I Prove Discrimination at Work in California?

A: To prove discrimination at work in California, the process is different depending on the type of discrimination. If an employer explicitly acts in a discriminatory way, it is considered disparate treatment discrimination. This is the most common type of discrimination. If an employee is able to prove that their employer acted in a way that targeted their membership of a protected class and harmed them as a result, then they might have a case for discrimination.

Q: What Are Protected Classes in California?

A: The protected classes in California include things like age (over 40), race and ethnicity, religious affiliation, physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, certain chronic illnesses or medical conditions, marital status, sex, pregnancy status, and gender identity and/or expression. An employer cannot adversely act against someone solely for belonging to a protected class or create a policy that adversely affects people in a certain protected class.

Q: Is There a Time Limit to File a Discrimination Claim in California?

A: In California, there is a time limit to file a discrimination claim. This time period begins when the discriminatory action happens. This process is usually initiated by filing a complaint with California’s Civil Rights Department, or CRD. If they choose not to pursue your case and give you a right-to-sue letter, there is another time period in which you must use that letter to file a case in court. The statute of limitations requires employees to file their claims within a certain time frame, or they will lose their right to bring a claim and seek compensation for the harm they suffered. You are encouraged to contact and consult with an attorney specializing in employment claims as soon as possible.

Receive Help for Your Discrimination Claim

Don’t let a large employer keep you quiet about workplace discrimination. Review your case with our attorneys to determine what steps to take to resolve discriminatory actions or policies. Schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Reisner & King LLP to learn more about your options.

We Provide The Help Employees Need When They Need It.

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