Unfortunately, discrimination cases often occur in the workplace. If you’ve been discriminated against at work, it is important to know if California’s anti-discrimination laws protect you. Our Los Angeles employment law attorneys go over which employees can file a claim against their employer for discrimination.
California Anti-Discrimination Laws
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) states that it is unlawful to discriminate against a worker because of their protected characteristics. Protected characteristics include the following:
- Race or color
- Sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions)
- National Origin or ancestry
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender (including gender expression)
- Medical condition
- Marital Status
- Military or veteran status
- Genetic Information
Individuals who face discrimination for the reasons above can file a claim against their employer to seek compensation.
Who Is Protected by California’s Anti-Discrimination Laws?
There are specific individuals who can file a claim against a company for discrimination, such as:
- Employees: The person who files the discrimination claim must be an employee of the company they are filing the claim against. It means that the person must work under the employer’s direction or control or a person the employer agreed to hire.
- Job Applicants: California’s anti-discrimination laws also protect job applicants. California makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire a person or refuse to select the person for training based on their protected characteristics.
- Temporary Employees: Temps are also protected by the FEHA’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.
- Unpaid Interns: Although unpaid interns might not be considered employees, they are protected from harassment and discrimination, just like normal employees.
Although independent contractors and volunteers are not employees, they are protected against harassment (only) under the FEHA.
How Can I File a Discrimination Claim?
If you fall under one of the categories above and experienced discrimination in the workplace, you can file a claim against your employer. The first thing you can to do is file a written complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You will need to file the federal claim within a 300 day period.
However, if you only want to file the claim under state law, the complaint should be filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). You must file the claim no later than three years from the date of the alleged discriminatory act, for acts occurring after January 1, 2019. An attorney can help you determine if you should file a federal or state complaint.
It is important to know that an employer can’t fire or retaliate against you for filing a discrimination case. Therefore, you can have peace of mind knowing that your job is protected even if you seek compensation.
Call Our Los Angeles Employment Law Attorneys
If you were discriminated against in your place of employment, there are federal and state laws that protect you. Our team at Hennig Kramer Ruiz & Singh, LLP can analyze your situation and help you determine if you have a case. We can also help you gather the evidence needed to develop a strong case and help you get compensation. Our Los Angeles employment law attorneys have more than 25 years of experience helping workers across California.
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