What Qualifies As Discrimination at a Workplace?

If you think your employer is treating you unfairly at work, then it is your right to press charges on them. Employment discrimination is illegal, and you should take legal action to have your employer punished. The following article provides an overview of discrimination at a workplace.

What is discrimination?

Workplace discrimination is where an employer treated you or a group of people differently from others in another group but situated at the same place. Employment discrimination that goes against the California public policy is unlawful. Public policy is anything that has been prohibited by regulation or law established by an agency of the government or passed by the legislature. This includes statutes that forbid discrimination against individuals who belong to protected groups. As well as individuals of a particular race, sex, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information and age (above 40 years).

Public policy protects individuals who complain regarding reduced wages or those who exercise their voting rights, domestic violence rights, family leave rights and those who protest against an issue of public concern.

Your employer cannot change the terms of your employment contract or expel you if their reasons are against public policy. For instance, your employer cannot allocate more work to you contrary to what is stipulated in the job contract, because of your sex, race, religion , national origin or due to the fact that you protested against safety violations.

Enforcing Discrimination Laws

There are different ways of enforcing your rights against discrimination depending on the public policy that has been breached. In California, you can make a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within a year. This is an agency of the state whose duty is to enforce California’s anti-discrimination laws.

The other way of pursuing a discrimination claim is by submitting your application to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days. The EEOC is an agency charged with enforcing federal laws on anti-discrimination.

What does the DFEH do?

It will process your charges and decide on whether there are enough grounds to pursue your case. It uses its attorneys to follow up on your case. You will be given a letter giving you the right to sue. Most federal agencies are short on staff and have a shortage of funding which delays the process of looking into claims of discrimination. This is the reason most people prefer hiring an attorney to pursue a discrimination claim.

Hiring a Business Attorney

Consulting a lawyer is the fastest way to enforce your rights against discrimination. A labor discrimination attorney will go through the facts of your case and tell you whether it is right to file a claim. If you meet all the condition for filing a suit, your attorney will prepare the necessary documentation and file the claim for you in court. Your lawyer will plead your case against the defendant (your employer) in a court of law. Our experienced business law group will ensure you are awarded the damages that apply to your case at this moment ensuring justice is served.

Damage Awards

If you win a lawsuit against your employer’s act of discrimination, you can get several kinds of compensation like emotional distress, lost wages, statutory attorney fees, and litigation costs. You can also be awarded punitive damages in order to punish your employer.