Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Experiencing discrimination in the workplace can be devastating, affecting your career, mental health, and overall well-being. A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer with Pointer & Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People can help. We’ll provide passionate representation and do all we can to protect your rights and help you achieve justice. 

There are various types of workplace discrimination, such as racial, gender, and disability discrimination. Our legal team can handle all your case’s legal issues, no matter what type of discrimination you experienced.  We’ll also provide information on the legal protections available and identify the steps we can take to secure the compensation you deserve. If you’ve faced discrimination at work, get in touch with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer, we’re here to help.

Give us a call at (510) 929-5400 if you are a victims of employment discrimination . We are ready to review your case. We are available 24/7.

What is Employment Discrimination?

Employment discrimination occurs when an entity treats an employee or job applicant unfavorably because of specific characteristics that are protected by law. These characteristics, also known as protected classes, include race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and genetics. Discrimination can manifest in various aspects of employment. These aspects include pay, job assignments, layoffs, hiring and firing practices, benefits, training, and other employment conditions or terms.

The Legal Framework

Federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), provide a framework for protecting employees from discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates complaints and enforces anti-discrimination laws. In addition, state laws, such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), offer broader protections, covering more employers and extending to additional protected classes.

The Impact on Employees

Victims may suffer from profound impacts, including emotional distress, financial instability due to income loss, and long-term damage to their careers. Employees who believe they’ve been discriminated against should seek legal assistance from a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer to protect their rights and pursue justice.

Types of Workplace Discrimination 

Workplace discrimination can take many forms, each violating the fundamental rights of employees. The following sections include some of the most common types of discrimination, hypothetical scenarios highlighting how they typically happen, and legal protections designed to help victims fight back.

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee or job applicant receives unfavorable treatment because of their race or characteristics associated with race, such as skin color, hair texture, or facial features.

 

Scenarios Involving Racial Discrimination

Scenario 1: A manager consistently overlooks a highly qualified African American employee for promotions in favor of less qualified white colleagues. Despite her excellent performance reviews and contributions to the company, the manager tells the employee she “doesn’t fit the company culture.”

 

Scenario 2: An Asian American employee faces derogatory comments about his accent and cultural background from coworkers. When he reports this behavior to management, they dismiss it as harmless joking and take no action to address the harassment.

 

Legal Protections

  • Federal law: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, and national origin. The EEOC enforces these protections.

 

  • State law: In California, FEHA provides additional protections against racial discrimination, applying to employers with five or more employees.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination occurs when an individual is treated unfairly in their employment because of their gender. Examples include unequal pay, biased promotion practices, and sexual harassment.

 

Scenario 1: A female engineer discovers she’s receiving significantly less pay than her male counterparts for performing the same job. When she brings this to the attention of her supervisor, he tells her men need more money because they’re “family breadwinners.”

 

Scenario 2: A male nurse experiences sexual harassment from a female supervisor who makes inappropriate comments and advances. When he rejects her advances, she starts assigning him to the least desirable shifts and gives him negative performance reviews.

 

Legal Protections and Key Legislation

 

  • Equal Pay Act: This federal law mandates that men and women in the same workplace receive equal pay for equal work.

 

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: This Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment.

 

  • FEHA: Offers other protections against gender discrimination in California, including protections against gender-based harassment and pay disparity.

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination involves treating a job applicant or employee unfairly due to age. Federal law applies to workers 40 or older, but some states extend protections to people younger than 40.

 

Scenario 1: A company lays off a 55-year-old marketing professional during a company restructuring while retaining younger, less experienced employees. His manager justifies the decision by saying they need “fresh ideas” and “new energy” in the team.

 

Scenario 2: Companies repeatedly pass over a 62-year-old job applicant with extensive experience in favor of younger candidates. Despite her qualifications, employers express concerns that she might not be able to keep up with the fast-paced work environment.

 

Legal Protections Under the ADEA and FEHA

 

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): Protects employees and job applicants who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination based on age. The Act includes protections against hiring, firing, promotions, layoffs, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.

 

  • FEHA: Extends similar protections under California law, covering employers with five or more employees.

Disability Discrimination

This type of discrimination happens due to an employee or job applicant receiving unjust treatment due to their disability. Examples include failing to provide reasonable accommodations to enable them to perform their job.

 

Scenario 1: An employee with a hearing impairment requests that captioning software be installed on his computer to help him participate fully in meetings. His employer denies the request, stating that it would be too costly, even though the software is reasonably priced.

 

Scenario 2: A job applicant who uses a wheelchair is rejected for a position because the office building isn’t wheelchair accessible. The employer doesn’t consider making reasonable modifications to accommodate the applicant.

 

Legal Protections Under the ADA and California Laws:

 

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone with a disability. This prohibition applies to employment and all other areas of public life. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities unless it causes undue hardship.

 

  • FEHA: Provides additional protections against disability discrimination in California, including broader definitions of disability and reasonable accommodation requirements.

Religious Discrimination

If a company or manager mistreats an employee because of their religious beliefs or practices, that’s religious discrimination. Employers must reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices unless it causes undue hardship.

 

Scenario 1: A Muslim employee requests time off on Fridays to attend Jumu’ah prayers. Her employer denies the request, stating they can’t afford to have her away from work during those hours, even though the accommodation would be relatively easy to arrange.

 

Scenario 2: A Jewish employee who observes dietary laws requests a separate refrigerator to store his kosher food. The manager denies his request, telling him to use the common refrigerator, where non-kosher items often contaminate his food.

 

Legal Protections and Accommodation Requirements

 

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: Prohibits discrimination based on religion and requires employers to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices within reason.

 

  • FEHA: Provides similar protections under California law, ensuring that employees can practice their religion freely in the workplace.

The Role of a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Hiring a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer is crucial for handling complex discrimination cases. These cases often involve intricate legal standards and extensive documentation, making it challenging for individuals to handle them without professional assistance. 

An experienced attorney can help identify the specific type of discrimination, gather necessary evidence, and correctly follow all legal procedures. In addition, a lawyer can offer invaluable support and advocacy, helping victims assert their rights and achieve fair compensation or remedies.

The Initial Consultation Process

The initial consultation with a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer is a critical first step. During this meeting, the lawyer will gather information about your experiences and assess the potential for a discrimination claim. Please bring all relevant documents, such as employment contracts, performance reviews, and any correspondence related to the discriminatory behavior. 

This consultation is an opportunity for you to discuss your concerns, ask questions, and understand the legal options available. The attorney will explain their approach to the case, outline potential strategies, and discuss the likely outcomes and timeline.

Your Attorney’s Legal Assessment 

After the initial consultation, the Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer will conduct a thorough legal assessment of the case. This assessment involves evaluating the evidence, reviewing applicable laws, and determining the strength of the claim. They’ll also examine whether the actions in question meet the legal definitions of discrimination under federal and state laws. Your attorney will also assess any potential defenses the employer might raise. 

This comprehensive assessment allows the lawyer to advise you on the best course of action, whether it involves negotiating a settlement, filing a complaint with the EEOC or a state agency, or pursuing litigation in court. By providing trusted legal guidance, a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer will protect your rights and help you effectively seek justice.

What to Expect From Your Attorney

Navigating the legal landscape can be daunting when facing workplace discrimination. An experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can guide you through this complicated process. Here are the critical steps your attorney will likely take.

Assessing the Claim’s Validity

The first step is evaluating the validity of the discrimination claim. An attorney will listen to your story, review any evidence provided, and determine whether the facts support a legal claim of discrimination under federal or state laws. 

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

Once they’ve established the claim’s validity, the Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer will gather and organize evidence to build a strong case. This process may include collecting employment records, performance reviews, emails, witness statements, and other relevant documentation. The goal is to compile a comprehensive dossier that clearly demonstrates the discriminatory actions and the impact of those actions on your life.

Filing a Complaint

The next step is to file a formal complaint with the appropriate agency. For federal claims, this is typically the EEOC. In California, the Civil Rights Department (CRD) handles such complaints. Your attorney will deliver a detailed, accurate complaint highlighting the discriminatory actions and their repercussions.

Understanding the Timeline and Process

Filing a complaint initiates an investigation by the EEOC or CRD. Your Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer will explain the timeline and what you can expect during this process, including possible mediation or settlement discussions. If the agency finds merit in the claim, it may issue a “right to sue” letter, allowing you to pursue legal action in court.

Negotiating Settlements

Your attorney will negotiate with the employer or their legal representatives to reach a fair settlement. Negotiations typically involve presenting a solid case, highlighting the evidence, and clearly articulating the damages sought.

Settling a case can be beneficial as it often results in a quicker resolution and avoids the uncertainty of a trial. It can also be less stressful and costly for the client. However, the attorney will provide their opinion as to whether the settlement offer is fair or if pursuing a trial would likely yield a better outcome.

Litigation

If the opposition refuses to settle, your attorney will prepare the case for trial. This preparation involves developing a legal strategy, preparing witness testimonies, and organizing all evidence for presentation in court. The attorney will work to ensure you’re fully prepared for the trial and know what to expect during the process.

Court Proceedings and What to Expect

Your lawyer will present evidence and arguments to the judge or jury during the trial. They’ll cross-examine witnesses, challenge the employer’s defenses, and make a compelling case for why the client deserves compensation for the discrimination they suffered.

Securing Compensation

Your Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer will seek various types of compensation, depending on the case specifics. This compensation can include back pay for lost wages, front pay for future lost earnings, compensatory damages for emotional distress, and punitive damages if the court finds the employer’s actions were particularly egregious. The goal is to ensure that you receive full compensation for the harm suffered due to workplace discrimination.

By following these steps, a seasoned employment discrimination attorney can effectively advocate for your rights, helping you secure justice and the compensation you deserve.

Contact Pointer & Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People

If you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace, Please don’t suffer in silence. Reach out as soon as you can for the legal support you deserve. A skilled, experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer with Pointer & Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People is here to help you get the justice you deserve. 

Contact us online for a free consultation and take the first step toward justice and fair compensation. Stand up against workplace discrimination and let us advocate for you.

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Reviews

  • Ryland Stamey

    55 years ago

    “Patrick is a fantastic lawyer. He worked hard for over a year to secure me a fair settlement and hold those who harmed me accountable. I would recommend highly recommend him and would use him again if the need ever arises. Thanks Patrick and Lawyers for the People”

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  • Anon

    55 years ago

    “Winner. Great job Patrick.”

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  • Michele G.

    55 years ago

    “Very friendly & the attorneys are very well rounded!”

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  • Barbara W.

    55 years ago

    Great job and are reliable

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