Newport Beach Discrimination Lawyers
It’s only fair that everyone should have an equal opportunity to perform a job they are qualified for. Yet every day companies make decisions based on unfounded misconceptions about a person’s abilities because they belong to a particular group, or even based on bigotry and hatred toward members of that group. That’s not fair, it’s not right, and it’s against the law. Throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, The Garza Firm wages a war against employment discrimination on behalf of individuals who were not hired or who were fired, passed over for a promotion, paid less, or otherwise unlawfully discriminated against in employment based on legally protected characteristics. Read on for a discussion of some of the most common forms of employment discrimination in Southern California, and contact the experienced Newport Beach discrimination lawyers at The Garza Firm if you’ve been a victim of discrimination in employment.
Title VII Employment Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. This law applies to private sector employers and state and local governments with 15 or more employees, to the federal government as an employer, and to unions and employment agencies. Victims of discrimination can sue their employer and obtain remedies such as hiring or reinstatement, back pay, money damages, and punitive damages for intentional discrimination. The first step is to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and give them the chance to investigate and enforce the claim. If they choose not to, they will issue a right-to-sue letter, authorizing you to file a civil lawsuit against the employer. The Garza Firm can represent you in pursuing justice against your employer for employment discrimination in violation of Title VII.
Employment Discrimination Under FEHA
California’s Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) is a state law that prohibits the same kinds of discrimination as Title VII but with additional protected classes, including ancestry, creed, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, and military or veteran status. FEHA also covers more companies, extending to employers with as few as five employees. Like Title VII, FEHA prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment, including advertisements for open positions, applications, screenings, interviews, hiring, transfers, assignments, promotions, discharge, pay and other working conditions.
The process to complain about a FEHA violation starts with filing a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). If DFEH declines to pursue enforcement, they will issue a right-to-sue letter allowing you to sue the employer on your own behalf. The employment discrimination attorneys at The Garza Firm can counsel you on whether your claim would be better served under Title VII or FEHA, and we will vigorously pursue justice and compensation for you.
Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a physical or mental disability who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Also protected are individuals with a history of a disability or who are regarded as having a disability even if they aren’t disabled. Employers are required to engage in an interactive process with covered employees to come up with a reasonable accommodation that meets the worker’s needs and doesn’t put an undue hardship on the business. The Garza Firm represents people discriminated against on the basis of disability under the ADA and helps them get the accommodation they need and/or recover compensation for the harm they suffered due to discrimination.
Women today still earn less than their male counterparts across all industries and occupations. The federal Equal Pay Act and the California Equal Pay Act require equal pay for substantially similar work, unless compensation is determined by seniority, a merit system, the quantity or quality of production, or some other bona fide factor. Victims of pay discrimination need not wait for the EEOC or DFEH to investigate but can request a right-to-sue letter and go to court immediately to enforce their rights under the law.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against individuals who are 40 years old or older. One common form of age discrimination involves firing older workers and replacing them with younger ones. Other forms of age discrimination include refusing to promote older employers into senior positions or refusing to make certain assignments based on age.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination against women based on:
- Current pregnancy
- Past pregnancy
- Potential pregnancy
- A related medical condition, including breastfeeding/lactation
- Having or choosing not to have an abortion
- Birth control/contraception
A pregnancy-related medical condition could also be a disability covered under the ADA.
Contact The Garza Firm Today
These are just some of the ways in which employers unlawfully discriminate against employees. Many other laws protect employees from discrimination or retaliation based on their exercise of protected rights to take medical or family leave, serve on a jury, complain or blow the whistle on unlawful employment practices, and more. If you have been discriminated against at work as an applicant or employee, call The Garza Firm for a free case evaluation to see if you have a claim and find out how we can help. Contact our experienced Newport Beach discrimination lawyers today.