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What Should I Do if I Think I’m Being Discriminated Against?

Hardin Law Group

Discrimination in the workplace is a pervasive issue. In California, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), there are broad spectrum laws set to protect victims of employment discrimination.

Perhaps there has been a time at work when you felt as though you were experiencing unfair treatment from a supervisor and the path to overcoming these obstacles seemed impossible. In order to figure out the best course of action for you, it is important to know what type of discrimination you may be facing.

How to Know if You Are A Victim of Discrimination

The Fair Employment and Housing Act protects people in the workplace; including interns, volunteers, contractors, and employees. In order to prevent unfair treatment like discrimination, FEHA has a list of protected classes to outline what is illegal when it comes to employment discrimination.

  • Age Discrimination: Discrimination based on age violates both state and federal laws. It can occur in many forms with respect to compensation, evaluations, benefits, wrongful termination, promotions, or even being hired in the first place.
  • Race Discrimination: Discrimination based on race is a complete violation of your basic human rights and it is illegal on both a state and federal level. Whether you are an employee, contractor, intern, applicant, or volunteer discrimination on the basis of race is both demeaning and can affect the outcome of your career.
  • Religion Discrimination: Discrimination based on religion in the workplace involves treating an individual differently due to their religious beliefs or practices. This is a direct violation of your constitutional right to practice religion freely and can lead to adverse effects on your career.
  • Nation of Origin Discrimination: Discrimination based on nation of origin can occur because a coworker or supervisor holds prejudice against an ethnicity, ancestry, culture, or language.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination: Pregnancy discrimination can occur when you are applying for a job or have been denied pregnancy leave.
  • Sex and Gender Discrimination: There are many forms of sex and gender discrimination that create unfair treatment which can result in a wage gap, pregnancy discrimination, or wrongful termination.
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination: It is illegal to discriminate against an employee, intern, volunteer, or contractor because of their sexual orientation or assumptions about their sexual orientation.
  • Disability Discrimination: Whether a disability is mental or physical, it is illegal for a company to discriminate against protected disabilities. This discrimination can occur through wrongful termination or even if a company does not reasonably accommodate a disability.

How to File a Claim

If the company you work for has discriminated against you, there are legal remedies available to you.

  1. Discrimination Policy: The first step towards enacting justice is to review your company’s discrimination policy. There should be an internal process available for you to file a claim. Sometimes a company may not have a structured process to file a complaint, in this case it is best to notify them of the discrimination in order to proceed.
  2. Internal Investigation: In most cases after a claim has been filed, an internal investigation will be conducted by the company and an outcome will be provided as a result. If the investigation does not yield positive results, there are other options.
  3. Formal Complaint: You can file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC) or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and they will conduct their own investigation.
  4. Negotiations: Once the investigation is concluded the EEOC and DFEH will bring together both parties for negotiation to reach an amicable solution.
  5. Contact an Employment Attorney: If negotiations don’t go in the direction you expected, contact an attorney to learn the legal action available to you.

To discuss your employment discrimination case, contact the experienced employment attorneys at Hardin Law Group today.

Employee versus Independent Contractor

If you work in the state of California, it is important to know the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. Under both state and federal laws, employees are provided with significantly more protections in contrast to the independent contractor.

Independent contractors have a lot of freedoms when it comes to the job they are hired to do, whereas an employee performs under more strict conditions. Although the difference between an independent contractor and an employee may seem minimal, it is crucial to know the difference to ensure your rights are not being violated.

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