Category: Discrimination

You’re protected from employment discrimination by federal and California laws. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against you on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Age (if you are 40 or over)
  • Religion
  • Sex (which includes pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity)
  • National origin
  • Genetic information (including family medical history), or
  • Disability.

California also extends these protections to discrimination against your marital status and your military or veteran status.

You do not have to be an employee to be covered by these protections. This protection also includes applicants, former employees, as well as current employees. As an employee, former employee, or an applicant you are also protected from retaliation. In other words, you can’t be penalized by an employer for suing, threatening to sue, or filing a discrimination complaint.

Can I Be Protected on the Job If I Wasn’t a Paid Employee?

Maybe. Under federal law, you may still be able to seek relief if you are placed on a job by a work program as a welfare recipient. You may also be protected if you are a volunteer who received certain benefits, such as a pension or life insurance.

This may all sound very complicated. Simply ask yourself these questions. Do you believe you were discriminated against or harassed? Was that discrimination based on a protected trait? Did the discrimination or harassment occur at a job of any kind? If the answers are “yes,” you may want to have your case evaluated by an experienced employment law attorney.

How Am I Protected as an Applicant?

Proving that you were discriminated against in the hiring process can be very difficult. You would need to show that there was a pattern of discrimination against a similar pool of applicants. Gathering evidence is crucial to obtaining a successful outcome in this type of discrimination case. This can be difficult to do on your own, but an experienced attorney can assist you in navigating through these complex issues.

How Am I Protected as a Former Employee?

You are protected from discrimination by a former employer. This could apply if your former boss gave a discriminatory response to a job reference inquiry. Another example is if a former employer cuts your benefits and you are over the age of 65.

If I Am Not an Employee What Are Some of the Remedies I May Be Able to Receive?

Some of the same remedies for employees are also available to those who are not employees. Discrimination laws also protect applicants, former employees, and possibly volunteers, as well as current employees.

Some of the remedies available in California include:

  • Hiring
  • Future lost earnings
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Work-site policy changes
  • Training
  • Damages for any emotional distress you may have suffered, and
  • Attorney’s fees and costs.

Employment discrimination is always a distressing experience but getting the relief and assistance you need can help you navigate through some of these rough situations.