Despite the existence of several federal, state, and municipal laws prohibiting workplace discrimination and requiring equal rights for all employees, the rules are not always enforced. Institutional racism, ageism, bigotry, sexism, and other types of discrimination continue to persist, affecting millions of Americans not just in their everyday lives but also in the workplace.
Discrimination produces a poisonous work atmosphere, which should not be accepted by any firm or employee. Unfortunately, the great majority of incidences of workplace discrimination go unreported, and no action is done against the perpetrating employer, including managers and coworkers.
If you’ve ever faced the difficulties of being discriminated against at work, you know how dreadful it can be. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a California employee, contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 to request a consultation with an employment law attorney.
Discrimination in the workplace is illegal under both state and federal laws
California has a long history of preventing employment discrimination and harassment based on protected characteristics. What are the characteristics that are protected? Ancestry/creed, age, color, handicap, genetics, gender, gender expression or identity, marital status, military or veteran status, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sex, and sexual orientation are all protected features under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Employers are prohibited from discriminating against or harassing employees or potential employees based on protected characteristics under the FEHA. This is true throughout the recruiting process, as well as throughout employment and termination.
Additionally, there are federal rules prohibiting job discrimination based on protected characteristics. Discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, sex, handicap, or national origin is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Discrimination on the basis of age is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Furthermore, the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA) forbids discrimination based on a person’s disability and requires employers to engage in a good faith, interactive process to assess whether a disability can be accommodated in the workplace.
What is the definition of discrimination?
Employees’ anti-discrimination and harassment rights begin even before they are hired. Discrimination in the workplace can also take the form of refusing to interview or recruit someone because of a protected trait, refusing to provide a raise, or failing to hire or promote someone because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, age, or other factors.
When based on a protected attribute, it might include workplace harassment, mockery, and other types of reprisal. While an employer has the right to choose the best individual for the position and promote or pay raises to those they believe are most deserving, they cannot do so based on any legally protected traits.
Similarly, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who files a discrimination or harassment claim or otherwise complains about improper treatment at work. Retaliation can take various forms, some of which are obvious and others which are less so.
Demotion, wage reductions, negative changes in working conditions, denial of advancement, or even termination may be used as retaliation. Retaliation is against the law in both California and the United States. If you have been the victim of harassment and/or retaliation at your job, contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 now for a free consultation.