Gardena is a city located in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. Its population was nearly 60,000 residents as of 2010. Major employers include UPS, Target, Sam's Club, Nissin Foods, Normandie Casino, Hustler Casino, and Memorial Hospital of Gardena. When you go to work, you hope that you will be judged for your accomplishments and that you will be able to advance on your merits. However, all too often, stereotypes and biases plague a workplace. Employers may not hire a qualified applicant because of their race, or they may not promote a female employee to the highest echelons because of her gender. An employer may not allow a qualified employee to advance to a customer-facing position due to their national origin. If you are concerned about potential misconduct in your workplace, the Gardena employment lawyers at the Calderone Law Firm can advise you on whether you may have a claim.Taking Action Following Discrimination or Harassment on the Job
Federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination based on an employee’s membership in protected categories. Usually, California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) tends to provide more expansive protections for employees than do federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
FEHA prohibits discrimination and harassment by employers that have at least five employees. It does not have caps on damages. Many of the federal laws require an employer to have a minimum of 15 employees, and they require an employee to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prior to filing a federal lawsuit. Laws such as Title VII have caps on compensatory and punitive damages based on the size of the employer, so for most employees, FEHA provides better remedies. However, each case is different, so you should consult an employment attorney in the Gardena area before bringing your claim.
You are protected under FEHA for characteristics including age (over 40), marital status, disability, military or veteran status, gender expression, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, race, color, national origin, religion, and ancestry. If you are subjected to discrimination because of the employer's bias against you based on one of these protected characteristics, you may be able to sue for damages under FEHA. For example, if you are black and your coworkers harass you by putting nooses on your desk and calling you the n-word, while your employer stands by and does nothing, you may have a basis to sue for racial harassment. In another example, if you are denied a reasonable accommodation to receive chemotherapy for cancer, you may be able to sue for disability discrimination under FEHA.
One form of discrimination is harassment, and it is prohibited under both FEHA and certain federal laws, such as Title VII. Sexual harassment is one significant form of harassment with which our Gardena employment attorneys are familiar. It can involve quid pro quo harassment, which can only be performed by a supervisor or manager. However, it could also involve hostile work environment harassment, which can be perpetrated by coworkers, customers, clients, supervisors, and managers.
Hostile work environment claims may arise from harassment not only due to sex but also based on disability, national origin, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To prevail in a hostile work environment FEHA claim, you will need to show that the harassment was sufficiently pervasive or severe as to alter the terms and conditions of employment and generate a hostile or abusive work environment for employees due to their sex. The conduct does not need to be both severe and pervasive — it can be one or the other — but generally, a one-off, minor event will not qualify.
If you are able to establish liability under FEHA, you may be able to recover damages, such as past lost wages, future lost wages, emotional distress, and mental suffering. You also may be able to obtain injunctive relief and possibly even punitive damages.Contact a Dedicated Employment Lawyer in Gardena or Surrounding Areas
If you have been harmed by employment discrimination in Gardena, the knowledgeable trial attorneys at the Calderone Law Firm are available to provide legal counsel and representation. It is important to hire an attorney who can help you determine a strategic way to take action under all of the applicable laws. You can call the Calderone Law Firm at (424) 348-8290 or contact us through our online form.