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Workplace discrimination undermines the most profound and fundamental values of human equity and fairness. No employer has the right to treat you differently from others based on what you look like or who you are. If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination in the workplace, you may have grounds to bring a legal action under California’s employment laws.

Employment discrimination can take many forms, and it often works in inconspicuous ways. The employment attorneys at Optimum Employment Lawyers are skilled in identifying all types of discrimination — no matter how subtle — and proving our clients’ claims. We are dedicated to helping you obtain redress for the injustices you have endured and work to ensure your employer answers for their wrongful actions.

What is Considered Workplace Discrimination?

Discrimination in the workplace occurs when your employer treats you less favorably than others due to a particular characteristic you possess. In many cases, discrimination is not clear-cut. Rather than arising from one specific incident, it can be a cumulative series of events that unfold over a period of time. Even though discrimination can sometimes be obscured, it can cause an employee to suffer significant indignities and personal losses.

Both California and federal laws prohibit employers from treating employees adversely due to their protected status. Specifically, California law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on:

  • Physical and mental disability
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Race and color
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Race/nationality
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Military or veteran status

Not only might an employer be in violation of the law for discrimination during the course of employment, but discriminatory practices are also prohibited during the hiring process. By law, an employer may not refuse to employ an applicant based on their protected status — or the perception that the individual might belong to a protected class. Additionally, it is unlawful for an employer to fire or demote an employee, deny them benefits or reduce pay for discriminatory reasons.

At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we understand that your employment means so much more than just your paycheck. Your work encompasses your sense of self-worth and meaning. Losing a job or being mistreated at work due to discriminatory employment practices might be a legal issue, but it’s a personal one, too. Our attorneys take pride in tirelessly advocating for our clients while representing them with respect, honesty, and compassion.

Types of Employment Discrimination Cases

There are two main types of workplace discrimination cases: disparate treatment and disparate impact. While disparate treatment is typically an intentional form of discrimination, disparate impact can occur when seemingly neutral policies disproportionately impact a protected class.

Disparate Treatment

To make a claim for disparate treatment, you must be able to establish that you were treated differently from others who aren’t in the protected class to which you belong by presenting evidence that the discrimination occurred. The employer then has an opportunity to offer a legitimate explanation for the discrimination. If the employer can show that there was a necessary job-related reason for the policy, the burden shifts back to the employee who must prove the reason merely serves as a pretext.

Disparate Impact

When a claim is made for employment discrimination based on disparate impact, the discrimination occurs unintentionally — making these cases difficult to prove. With disparate impact, the procedures that are in place apply to everyone, but only those in the protected class are negatively affected. If you can show that the employment policy caused you to be treated differently from those not in a protected class, the employer may offer a non-discriminatory reason for the practice. If they can establish that there was a legitimate reason the policy was put into place, you must be able to demonstrate that the employer could have achieved the same objective with a different practice.

No one deserves to be treated unfairly at work — it may even be illegal for your employer to engage in this kind of conduct. No matter how challenging your case, the attorneys at Optimum Employment Lawyers have the skill and experience necessary to obtain favorable results.

Communicative Counsel for Workplace Discrimination

Under California law, employers must take preventative measures to stop workplace discrimination from occurring. If your employer fails to do so, or engages in discriminatory practices, you may be entitled to a remedy under the law. In addition, if your employer retaliated against you in any way for reporting discrimination, you might also have a claim.

In some situations, notifying the Human Resources department about the discrimination is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit. You may also be required to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and go through the administrative process. However, when you work with an attorney, they may be able to obtain a right-to-sue notice, allowing you to bring your case directly to court.

By commencing a lawsuit for unlawful employment discrimination, various damages may be available to you. Depending on the circumstances, and the extent of the harm you suffered, you may be eligible to recover back wages, front pay, lost benefits, and bonus payments. You might also be able to recover non-monetary damages for your emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.

If you were forced to endure discrimination in the workplace because you belong to a protected class, it’s crucial to make sure your employer is held accountable. At Optimum Employment Lawyers, we provide committed counsel to those who have suffered the adverse effects of wrongful treatment in the workplace and diligently pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

Contact an Experienced California Employment Law Attorney

Employment discrimination might not only take a financial toll on an employee who has been wronged — there can also be significant emotional effects. If your employer treated you differently from your co-workers because you possess a protected characteristic, a qualified workplace discrimination lawyer can assist you with securing the monetary recovery that is rightfully yours. Optimum Employment Lawyers offers superior advocacy and high-quality representation for workplace discrimination claims and various employment law matters. Contact us at (949) 954-8181 to schedule a consultation.