Lawyers Protecting Workers From Discrimination

At Hennig Ruiz Law Firm, our employment litigation lawyers represent workers in all aspects of employment discrimination under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). California's anti-discrimination laws were generally written to provide greater protection from discrimination and harassment than federal law, and as a result, our office uses those laws to help protect workers and obtain compensation for violations committed by employers against their employees.

Learn more about our successful discrimination litigation cases at our Discrimination FAQ and Case Results pages.

Common Types Of Workplace Discrimination

Employers have ways of discriminating that may not always be obvious. Discrimination can be as bold as firing someone for speaking Spanish or as subtle as refusing to promote an older worker who may be nearing retirement.

Common types of discrimination in the workplace include:

If you believe your employer's policies or actions are discriminatory, you may have a valid claim for damages under state or federal law.

Some Common Types Of Workplace Harassment

Harassment can best be described as insults, and physical gestures that communicate hostility toward a person based on a protected characteristic. While we often think of harassment as being sexual in nature (i.e. inappropriate comments about clothing or appearance or requests for sexual favors), harassment can take many forms, including:

  • Requests for sexual favors in exchange for employment or employment benefits ( quid pro quo)
  • Sexual comments or comments of a sexual nature
  • Insults based upon a protected characteristic (racial slurs, epithets, stereotypes)
  • Visual harassment (sharing of offensive pictures, videos or items)
  • Offensive gestures (pantomiming sexual acts or violent acts connected with a protected characteristic)
  • Negative comments based upon a protected characteristic (speaking negatively about a racial or ethnic group, offensive comments about people with disabilities)
  • Physical contact (groping, hitting, touching)

To be actionable, harassment must be either severe (extreme) or pervasive (frequent or widespread. If you believe that you have been the victim of harassment based upon a protected characteristic, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries this conduct has caused you.

Sexual Orientation Harassment Case Settled For $1.5 million
Our firm represented an employee who worked in a group environment where he was subjected to near daily harassment based upon his sexual orientation, including being sent homoerotic pornography, being physically assaulted and battered, and being called gay and ethnic slurs over a period of years. Our attorneys fought hard to build the client's case and ultimately obtained a settlement of $1.5 million in pretrial negotiations.

Steps To Take If You Have Suffered Discrimination

Document the discrimination and follow your employer's internal policies or procedures for making a complaint. A record of discriminatory treatment and documentation of complaints are key evidence in any claim for discrimination.

Please visit our Do I Have a Case? page to answer a few questions relating to your circumstances. If the questionnaire indicates you may have a case against your employer, contact us for a free consultation.