Most people in California are at-will employees and are somewhat at the whim of their employer in terms of their employment status, but do have some protections. Employers generally make decisions based on what is best for their business and therefore keep good employees regardless of their age, sex, race and other factors. However, people in management just like anyone else could have biases and base decisions on these biases as opposed to basing the decision on work performance.

If the worker is wrongfully terminated because of this or discriminated against in some other fashion, then they may be able to file a charge with the EEOC to protect their rights. Recently the EEOC released the statistics relating to the number and type of charges it received in the 2017 fiscal year.

In California, there were a total of 5,423 charges made to the EEOC. The most common type of charge filed was for retaliation and there were a total of 2,752 charges based on retaliation, totaling 50.7% of all charges made in 2017. The next most common type of charge was based on race and there were a total of 1,811 charges based on race. The next was charges based on sex with a total of 1,500 charges. Next came charges based on national origin (786 charges), then religion (270 charges) and then color (190 charges).

These numbers simply reflect the number of charges though and are not indicative of the outcome. However, the numbers do demonstrate that there are a large number of people being discriminated against in the workplace.

If the people from California who file these charges are successful, the employer could be forced to compensate the fired employee for infringing on their rights. This compensation could be in the form of back pay, reinstatement to their job and other types of compensation. These are highly fact specific cases though and experienced attorneys could be a useful resource.

Source: www.eeoc.gov, “EEOC Charge Receipts by State (includes U.S. Territories) and Basis for 2017” accessed on Jan. 30, 2018