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What are the elements needed to prove a discrimination claim against a local government entity?

San Jose, CA |

My aunt/in-law, who is African American and nearly 65, was fired from a job she has held for 21 years. The new supervisor, who is Caucasian and much younger than my aunt, had been shouting degrading racial and ageist epithets against his underlings. There are complaints against this guy by other fired and even some current employees. My aunt wants to sue.

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Attorney answers 3


This forum is not the proper place to obtain the depth of legal advise you are seeking. Your aunt should immediately meet in-person a labor attorney who has this expertise.

Best of Luck

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You need to hire an attorney. As in all other types of claims, what this forum really does is provide some superficial direction based on sparse facts. Your aunt in-law needs to spend time discussing the details of the facts with an experienced employment attorney. Good luck.

Any advice, suggestions, answers to questions, directions, either implied or express, are not binding, do not create an Attorney-Client relationship, are not solicitations but merely a generalized response or comment. The facts of every case is unique and requires carefully thought out investigation and research exclusively available during a one-on-one true Attorney-Client consultation including a signed fee agreement.


I'm very sorry this happened to you aunt.

The Fair Employment & Housing Act ("FEHA") prohibits harassment and discrimination on the basis of race and age. The issue is always one of proof, but if the supervisor has been making racist and ageist statements, that is certainly good evidence. It is also helpful for her that there are others complaining about this person.

Long-term employees, like your aunt, sometimes encounter this type of discrimination. I have sued public entities before, and it takes some skill to demonstrate that their actions were illegal.

If your aunt believes that she has been fired illegally, and she decides that she wants to take action, she will want to make sure to do so within her statute of limitations, or her rights may be lost forever.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

Craig T. Byrnes

Disclaimer: Please be aware that I am not offering legal advice, nor forming an attorney-client relationship with you. I am not representing you, nor doing anything to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have suffered a legal wrong, take action before any statute or limitations expires, or your right to do so may be lost forever. Good luck in your legal matter.

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