What You Should Know About Workplace Discrimination

Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim? Learn what you should know about workplace discrimination, then call us!

1) Americans with Disabilities Act

What You Should Know About Workplace DiscriminationOften, we get phone calls regarding employees that have questions about the ADA, also known as the American Disabilities Act. The ADA is actually a Federal law. It’s a Federal law that was passed to protect individuals with disabilities, both for work issues and non-work issues. While many people know or have heard of the ADA, it’s also important to know that for disabled employees in California there’s another statute called the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The Fair Employment and Housing Act protects employees who have been disabled, either at work or away from work. Now, the issue as to what’s a disability under the Fair Employment and Housing Act is a little bit of a different standard than under the ADA, so it’s important for you to hire an attorney or to find an attorney that can make a distinction between the ADA and the Fair Employment Housing Act, also known as FEHA.

A lot of times in the employment setting for a disability claim under FEHA, an employee either has been injured at work and come back with work restrictions or has work restrictions for a non-work related injury. What happens is the employer is presented with a doctor’s note that says that either for a short period of time or for a long period of time an employee can’t do a certain task. By the time that they contact us or reach out to a law firm, it’s because the employers made the decision that, as a result of the work restrictions, they can’t accommodate the employee; as a result, they terminate the employee or they prevent the employee from doing certain aspects of their job that they know that they can do.

If you’ve received work restrictions for a work-related injury or a non-work related injury, it’s important for you to understand that under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, just like under the ADA, you have rights. You have the right to continue working for your employer, as long as it’s not an undue burden on the employer. It’s important for you to understand under what circumstances the employer has to accommodate you so you can continue working. If you have questions regarding the ADA, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, or just questions about the fact that a doctor has given you restrictions and those restrictions are causing problems at work, it’s important for you to talk to an attorney about that. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call and we can discuss.

2) Pregnancy Discrimination

Every year, we have the privilege of representing women and men who have found out the fantastic news that they’re about to have a baby or that they just had a baby. Unfortunately, a lot of times when they call us, it’s them calling us because it hasn’t been great news for their employer. As I’m sure you’re well aware, an employer in California can’t retaliate against an employee for being pregnant; in fact, an employer can’t retaliate against an employee for their spouse being pregnant. Under California law, not only can’t they retaliate against you for a pregnancy, both women and men have rights as it relates to the childbirth, including extended leave for recovery from childbirth. This also includes leave related to exams coming up to childbirth, and it includes leave related to disabilities as a result of either the pregnancy or the childbirth.

If you have questions about the reaction or choices that your employer made as a result of a pregnancy, it’s important for you to understand that you have rights and that you talk to an attorney to explain those rights to you. If I can answer any of those questions, feel free to give me a call. I’m happy to discuss what rights you may have as it relates to your employer. By the way, congratulations on the baby.

3) Gender Discrimination

One issue that sometimes comes up is the issue of discrimination based on gender and/or sex, in which the employer is making a decision as to what positions the employee can hold based off of the gender or sex of the employee. I remember early on when this firm was founded 12 years ago, we took on a case of a woman who was a bartender. She enjoyed being a bartender; she found that she made more money as a bartender. That’s truly what she enjoyed doing.

She applied for a position at a bar in San Bernardino. She was told that women were only allowed to be hostesses or cocktail waitresses and that, if she wanted a position, those were the two options that was available to her. She explained to me, as she explained to them, that she wasn’t a hostess and that she wasn’t a cocktail waitress but that she was a bartender, and that she had the expertise and the knowledge to be a bartender. The employer after hearing that told her flat out the only positions we offer women are hostesses and cocktail waitresses. She didn’t take the position.

When she had come to me, she had already filed a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. They were trying to get her to take a settlement that was what I considered very low. While I can’t get into all the details as to what that case ultimately resolved for, I will say that it was multiple times more than what was being offered to her in front of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. If you feel that you’ve been subject to gender discrimination either in the assignments you are being given, promotional opportunities you are being given, or in your pay, it’s important for you to understand that you do have rights and that you should talk to an attorney. If I can answer any of those questions, feel free to give me a call.

4) Age Discrimination

Last week, I said goodbye to a client that we’ve been representing for just over a year. This employee had come to me about issues at work that were happening over the last couple of years. The employer had worked for the company for 25 years, and over the last couple of years, after he had 60 years old, his manager kept on asking him when he was going to retire and that maybe it’s time to move on. There were comments about him being slower than he used to be and that maybe the technology had just been moved on and that maybe he should look for something else. When the client complained that he felt like he was being targeted because of his age, he was terminated. Under California law, it’s important to understand that employees that are older have protection. In fact, employees over the age of 40 have protection under California law from age discrimination. Age discrimination can take various forms and have a devastating impact on older employees. If you’ve been working for a company and you feel, whether or not you’ve been working for that company for 20, 30 years or whether or not you’ve been working for them for 4 or 5 years, but things have changed and you believe it’s because of your age, it’s important that you find an attorney that can address those issues, whether or not you continue to work for that company or whether or not you’ve been let go from that company. If you have any questions regarding your employment and those questions involve age or any other issue, make sure that you contact an attorney that has the knowledge and the resources to answer those questions for you. Feel free to give me a call if I can answer those questions for you. Thanks.


Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in California and have questions about filing a discrimination claim? After reading about what you should know about workplace discrimination, contact the experienced California employment law attorneys at the Myers Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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