As you progress through your career, you deserve to be judged on the merit of your work, not your race, color, or ethnicity. Fortunately, U.S. and California law protect workers by prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of these personal characteristics. Manhattan Beach racial discrimination attorney Vincent Calderone has more than two decades of experience protecting the rights of California workers in Orange County, Riverside County, and throughout southern California. If your employer is guilty of unlawful racial discrimination, the Calderone Law Firm can help you.Racial Discrimination is Prohibited in California Workplaces
Employers in California cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of race. Discrimination is defined as making a decision about the terms, privileges, or conditions of employment — including compensation — based on an employee's race. Examples of racially motivated actions an employer may not take are:
- Refusing to hire a prospective employee;
- Firing an employee;
- Refusing to promote an employee;
- Paying an employee or group of employees less than employees of another race who do the same job; or
- Providing different benefits to employees of different races.
These are just a few examples of behavior that may constitute illegal racial discrimination. Any time an employer treats employees differently because of their race, it may be illegal discrimination. Racially motivated harassment is related to discrimination and is also prohibited by federal and state law.California Workers Are Protected by State and Federal Law
There are two laws that protect workers in California from racial discrimination at work. The first is a federal law: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, and other personal characteristics. Practically, the Civil Rights Act offers the protections described above: Employers cannot make employment decisions based on an employee’s race.
The California law that protects workers is called the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which is found at §12940 of the California Government Code. FEHA offers the same basic protections as the federal Civil Rights Act; however, FEHA protects more workers. An employer must have 15 or more employees to be subject to the federal law. Under FEHA, employers with five employees or more are prohibited from racial discrimination.
Before she can bring a lawsuit in either state or federal court, an employee who has faced illegal racial discrimination must file an administrative complaint with with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH). The corresponding agency will investigate the claim and either pursue the lawsuit on the employee’s behalf or issue a right to sue, which clears the way for the employee to file suit. An employee who prevails in a racial discrimination suit against may be entitled to compensatory and, in some cases, punitive damages.We Can Protect Your Rights at Work
Employers who discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of race have likely broken U.S. and California law. If you are the victim of unlawful racial discrimination, you are entitled to pursue a claim against your employer or prospective employer. Los Angeles harassment attorney Vincent Calderone can help you seek justice for illegal employer behavior that occurred in San Bernardino County, and Ventura County, and anywhere else in California. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (310) 706-4101 or visit our contact page.