Employers should not discriminate against employees for any reason that the employee cannot control. Employers who discriminate against employees risk violating antidiscrimination law under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
FEHA is a civil rights act that protects certain classes of people from discrimination in employment decisions and in housing. Like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal anti-discrimination laws FEHA protects employees from:
- Racial discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Gender discrimination
- National Origin discrimination
- Religious discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Age discrimination (above 40)
Additionally, the California’s FEHA provides rights above and beyond federal laws, providing protection against:
- Sexual orientation discrimination
- Martial status discrimination
- Political activities discrimination
- Medical condition discrimination
FEHA applies to all California businesses with 5 or more employees.
How Can I prove A Violation of California Discrimination Law?
An employee must show that an employer took adverse action against them because the employee is a member of a protected class, such as one of the above listed (race, sex, disability, etc.). Adverse employment actions include but are not limited to failing to hire, failing to promote, demoting, terminating, and reducing pay or hours.
Once the employee shows that he or she was a member of the protected class and that the employer took the adverse employment action against them the employer must then show that it made the decision based on a legitimate reason.
If the employer can offer a legitimate reason for why the action was taken the employee must then prove that the alleged reason was not actually the true reason behind the decision and that the real reason was actually discriminatory.
Steps to a Discrimination Lawsuit: First Call a Lawyer
Before a lawsuit can be filed an employee must file a charge with the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (“DFEH”). Once filed an employee must then obtain a right to sue letter from DFEH.
If you think that you have been discriminated against you may be entitled to a judgment or settlement against the business. To learn more about how you can protect your civil rights contact the California anti-discrimination lawyers of Cunningham Law, APC at (951) 213-4786 to schedule a free consultation. Timely action can make the difference in your case.