Santa Monica Employment Discrimination

Lawyer Helping Workers in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a city in Southern California with a population of 89,736 as of 2010. Located on Santa Monica Bay, the city serves as headquarters for major companies like Activision Blizzard, Hulu, Fatburger, Lionsgate Films, Miramax, Riot Games, TOMS Shoes, and Universal Music Group. It is also home to many start-ups funded by venture capital. Santa Monica’s top employers include the Santa Monica College and Saint John’s Health Center. Employees working in Santa Monica may be protected from unlawful discrimination by federal and state laws. If you have experienced employment discrimination at work, contact Calderone Law Firm to speak with a Santa Monica employment discrimination attorney about your case.

Santa Monica Employment Discrimination

Under federal and state laws, employers in Santa Monica are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants and employees based on specific protected characteristics. Federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Each of these federal laws protects different characteristics. For instance, Title VII protects race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. These laws apply to midsize to large companies. Since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces most of the federal anti-discrimination laws, you may need to file a charge with the EEOC within a certain time frame prior to initiating a lawsuit.

Fair Employment and Housing Act

The California state law that prohibits employment discrimination is the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under FEHA, employers with at least 5 employees may not discriminate against job applicants or employees because of their membership in a protected class or retaliate against them when they assert their legal rights. Speaking with an employment discrimination lawyer in Santa Monica can be helpful in determining which federal and state laws are applicable to your situation. The law also prohibits harassment arising out of a protected characteristic, even in workplaces with fewer than five employees.

FEHA protects employees based on color, race, ancestry, national origin, creed, religion, disability, age if you’re 40 or older, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, and veteran or military status. For example, if an employer did not hire a Black applicant because of his race, the applicant may have a claim for racial discrimination under FEHA. Alternatively, if an employer denied an employee reasonable accommodation for a religious practice and providing the accommodation would not have presented an undue hardship for the employer, the employee may have a claim for religious discrimination. Similarly, if an employer kept a Sikh employee from a customer-facing promotion because the company believes that his turban will not project an all-American image, the employee may have a claim for religious discrimination under FEHA. In some cases, an employee or applicant may have been discrimination against based on multiple protected characteristics. If you retain a Santa Monica employment discrimination lawyer, he can review the facts to determine the strongest claims to assert as the basis of a lawsuit.

Companies may possess mixed motives for discriminating against employees. Where an employer has a mixed motive for taking an adverse employment action, a plaintiff needs to establish discrimination as a substantial motivating factor.


Your employer cannot retaliate against you for engaging in protected activities under FEHA or federal anti-discrimination laws like Title VII. Protected activity can involve opposing employment practices that are illegal under FEHA or federal laws, such as by reporting discrimination or harassment to the employer’s human resources (HR) department or the EEOC, or by filing a lawsuit.

Retaliation can include any adverse employment action that tends to discourage someone from engaging in a protected activity. For example, if you complain in good faith to HR about sexual harassment by your coworkers, and the company transfers you to a less favorable position for not being a team player, you may have a claim of retaliation. A retaliation claim can succeed even if the court does not find in your favor on the underlying claim of harassment or discrimination, so long as you engaged in the protected activity in good faith.


Remedies under FEHA can include actual damages such as back pay and front pay for lost wages and compensatory damages for pain and suffering. Your employer may be ordered to reinstate you if it is appropriate and the employment relationship has not been damaged beyond repair. Where an employer engaged in egregious discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct, it may be liable for punitive damages. In some cases, the court may award injunctive relief, for example, by requiring the employer to conduct workplace trainings to prevent future harassment.

Retain a Seasoned Employment Discrimination Attorney in Santa Monica

Employees who have experienced harassment or discrimination at their workplace may feel a tremendous amount of stress. Discussing your situation with an experienced lawyer at the Calderone Law Firm can help you plan your way forward. We represent and counsel employees in Santa Monica, Los Angeles and El Segundo, as well as throughout Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties. Please give us a call at (424) 348-8290 or complete our online form.