Long Beach Workplace Discrimination Lawyers
Workplace discrimination can take many forms, some of which are overt and some which are so subtle that they can be easily disguised. However, most employees can tell when they are being singled out to perform duties that are not be asked of others or being passed over for promotions when they are more qualified than their peers who are being rewarded for their work.
There are avenues for seeking compensation or rectifying matters dealing with workplace discrimination that employees can take, such as contacting the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that deals with matters involving workplace discrimination. However, sometimes federal laws do not apply, but California state laws may be applicable if an employee feels they have been discriminated against.
When Discrimination Laws Apply
An experienced Long Beach workplace discrimination lawyer can help a worker determine if they have cause for action regarding discrimination and which statutes apply in their case. Most of the federal discrimination laws were enacted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on race, color, national origin, sex and religion.
This act prohibits discrimination of all types during the hiring process, in terms of compensation, benefits, job assignments, promotions, discipline and when firing employees. However, under federal regulations, businesses have to have a certain number of employees for discrimination laws under Title VII to apply to them. A private business has to have at least 15 employees before they can be held accountable for discrimination.
Along with Title VII, private businesses with at least 15 employees must also follow the guidelines of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The act prohibits discrimination in the workplace against those with disabilities, those with a history of disability or people who are perceived to be disabled, even if that perception is incorrect.
Age discrimination is also against federal law, especially of those that are at least 40 years old and over. However, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act only applies to private businesses that have at least 20 employees. The state of California goes further in their discrimination laws as far as who are considered protected classes and their laws apply to all businesses with at least five employees.
While there are some limitations as far as discrimination laws applying to small private businesses, other types of organizations must adhere to them regardless of their size. This applies to governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels, employment agencies, interstate agencies and labor unions. However, if you have a grievance against a state agency, it can be difficult to sue them as in some cases it is not allowed under some federal discrimination laws.
When to Contact an Attorney
Simply put, you do not have to put up with discrimination if you have what California law says are “protected characteristics.” Under state law, discrimination is considered either “disparate treatment,” meaning your employer promotes or terminates people based on their protected characteristics, or “disparate impact,” in which policies in the workplace have a disproportionate effect on those with protected characteristics.
If you feel you have been discriminated against based on protected characteristics, you should contact a Long Beach workplace discrimination lawyer at our firm. Although there are other steps you can take, such as contacting federal and/or state agencies, to report discrimination, you should consider having an attorney on your side in case your employer tries to retaliate against you for reporting them.
We will thoroughly investigate your claims and help you take the appropriate action against your employer or former employer, as the case may be. You may be able to receive compensation in the form of lost wages, punitive damages, emotional distress, attorney’s fees and court costs. In some cases, you may be able to get your job back, if you wish to return to that employer.