Discrimination in the Hiring Process

El Segundo Lawyer for Job Applicants who are Victims of Illegal Conduct

Discrimination in the hiring process occurs when a job applicant is treated unfairly or unequally because he or she belongs to a protected class. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and several federal laws prohibit discrimination in the hiring process. Each law specifies different protected classes and is applied differently. If you believe you faced discrimination in the hiring process, a seasoned El Segundo employment discrimination attorney can help you assess your legal options.

Discrimination in the Hiring Process

FEHA is a state anti-discrimination law and it applies to both private and public employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations. It prohibits workplace discrimination by employers with at least 5 employees. Protected categories under FEHA include gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, disability, medical conditions, HIV/AIDS status, sex, marital status, status as a domestic violence victim, genetic information, age if you’re forty or older, political affiliations, and military status.

An employer is not allowed to refuse to hire you because you have one of the foregoing protected characteristics. When an employer refuses to hire on that basis, it is an illegal recruitment practice. Further, employers may be liable if they use an employment agency for hiring purposes, knowing that it uses illegal, discriminatory practices. FEHA also applies to job advertisements, screenings, interviews, applications, and compensation.

There are certain situations in which discrimination in hiring is permissible, and an employment discrimination lawyer serving El Segundo can go over the facts of your case to see if any of these exceptions apply. Employers can discriminate on the basis of a job applicant’s disability if that disability renders an employee unable to perform the essential or fundamental duties of a job (as opposed to marginal job duties). To determine whether a particular job function is fundamental, the court will examine the employer’s judgment, the job advertisement, and time the worker in that position spends doing that job function.

Federal Law

Federal laws protect a number of characteristics including color, race, sex, religion, national origin, age if you’re at least 40, disability, genetic information, and citizenship status. These laws tend to apply to midsize or large employees. For example, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) makes it illegal for a prospective employer not to hire you because of your age if you are at least 40, but the prospective employer must have at least 20 employees.


If you believe you were discriminated against in California, you can either file a claim of discrimination with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or you can file a charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There are time limits, so it’s important to consult with an El Segundo employment discrimination attorney right away if you are considering filing a claim. For example, in California, you have 300 days to file a charge of racial discrimination in the hiring process with DFEH.

Proving Discrimination

The challenge of proving discrimination in hiring is showing your employer was motivated by the desire to discriminate against you based on your membership in a protected class. There are some situations in which an employer states a discriminatory reason for not hiring you. But often, these days, employers are aware of employment laws and will not expressly state a bias as the reason they didn’t hire you. It may be necessary to investigate and determine that others without your identity were treated a different way. For example, if you are black, and a white worker was hired for the position even though he was less qualified, there may have been discrimination.

Consult an Experienced Employment Discrimination Attorney in El Segundo

Some of the most challenging employment law claims in El Segundo involve discrimination in the hiring process. If you are concerned about discrimination in hiring, the Calderone Law Firm may be able to help. We represent clients in charges filed with DFEH and the EEOC, and we also provide tenacious legal representation in any subsequent trial in the courtroom. Call the Calderone Law Firm at (424) 348-8290 or complete our online form.