LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Jacob Iraj Kiani

California Employment Discrimination and Wrongful Termination Attorneys

Federal and California laws pertaining to employment discrimination are intended to be fair, intuitive and easy to understand. Yet, often, employers make mistakes when managing issues relating to employees' illnesses, disabilities and religious rights, and even employees' gender and race. Employees, too, often fail to understand their full rights when involved in employer/employee disputes regarding possible discrimination. The seriousness and frequency of employment discrimination in California is evidenced by cases described by the American Civil Liberties Union's website; it discusses recent cases in California involving:

  • Employees' right to work while living with such diseases as AIDS and epilepsy
  • Muslim employees' right to wear a religious headscarf while at work
  • Employers' obligations when a customer makes a racially motivated request
  • Laws protecting whites and males when an employer seeks to increase the diversity of its workforce
  • Employees' rights to religious conversion
  • Pre-employment credit checks and racial profiling
  • Veterans' employment rights, including the rights of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Workplace bullying combined with discrimination
  • Employers' failures to promote individuals with diabetes and other diseases
  • Obesity, age, race- and gender-related activism and numerous other areas and issues

What Constitutes Employment Discrimination in California?

If you are an employer or employee in the state of California, it's important to remain up to date and knowledgeable about your legal rights and obligations. A good start includes an understanding that, in our state, it's illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, religion, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin and gender. Employment discrimination relating to these protected categories usually involves:

  • Firing/terminationPromotions, compensation and benefits
  • Hiring practices
  • Work environment
  • Disability leave, maternity leave and retirement options
  • Lay offs

In What Instances Is Discrimination Not Discrimination?

It may be helpful to understand discrimination that is perfectly legal. Though it may seem objectionable, employers in California are perfectly within their rights to fire you, deny you a raise or promotion or reduce your pay based on:

  • Your bankruptcy history (though some courts have ruled that, while current employers can discriminate against employees based on bankruptcy, potential employers cannot)
  • Your political views
  • Your appearance
  • Nepotism (meaning favoring someone who is related to someone over someone who is not)
  • Your credit history

For instance, an employer can discriminate against you because you are overweight, but may not be able to legally do so if your weight is linked to a disease. Your employer can discriminate against you because you dress badly, but your employer may be breaking the law if it has a dress code for women but not for men. And while you can be fired for your political views, if your political views are tied to working conditions or another issue involving employment law, your may be protected from discrimination. To be sure of your obligations and rights regarding employment law in California, the best move is to contact an experienced employment law attorney at the Employment Law Office of Jacob I. Kiani.

Additional resources provided by the author

General Labor Law Resources California Labor Laws and Regulations U.S. Department of Labor California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB) California Dept. of Industrial Relations - Labor Law Resources Find out which wage order pertains to my occupation Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders Wage & Hour Law - Wage Claim Adjudication Labor Law FAQ How to File a Wage Claim Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) California Employment Development Department (EDD) DIR Small Business Portal Employment Law Fact Sheets Wage and Hour Law Resources DFEH Employment Brochures and Posters Employment FAQ California Department of Employment and Housing (DFEH) Fair Housing FAQ DLSE Guide to Retaliation / Discrimination Complaints List of California Workplace Postings Services and Public Accommodations FAQ DFEH Employment Lawsuit Flow Chart Fair Employment and Housing - Sexual Harassment Fair Employment and Housing Act - Pregnancy California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Fair Employment and Housing Act Severance Negotiations Law Top Five Items to Negotiate During Severance Negotiations Besides Severance Pay Five Tips for Negotiating The Best Severance Possible Don't Attempt to Represent Yourself in Severance Negotiations Ten Tips for Negotiating a Better Severance Package Severance Pay Basic Info Sheet How to Negotiate Severance Cobra Basic Info Sheet How to Get the Best Severance Deal You're Fired: Now You Can Negotiate a Better Severance Package Employment Discrimination Law EEOC Discrimination Links Discrimination Links Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) EEOC Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices EEOC Regulations EEOC Policy Guidance Disability Discrimination Law EEOC Disability Discrimination Selected Policy Documents on the ADA Reasonable Accommodation / Undue Hardship Under the ADA Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Link to text of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Link to text of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Pregnancy Disability Law Fair Employment and Housing Act - Pregnancy Pregnancy Leave Law under FEHA Pregnancy Disability Discrimination Law - EEOC Pregnancy Disability Leave in California: What Should Employers Expect? Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code sections 12940, et. seq. FMLA / CFRA Law with Information on Pregnancy Disability Leave Law Included Practice Groups Labor & Employment Law Business Law & Litigation Technology Law Human Resources Law Unbundled Legal Services

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