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Sex Discrimination

Experienced Manhattan Beach Attorney Helping Employees

Your gender has nothing to do with how well you do your job. It is therefore illegal for an employer to discriminate against you simply because of your sex. Knowledgeable employment discrimination lawyer Vincent Calderone can help you if you have been affected by this illegal conduct near Manhattan Beach or the surrounding area. The Calderone Law Firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of employees throughout Southern California, such as individuals in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.

Gender Discrimination May Take Multiple Forms

The term “gender discrimination” may mean several things. In its purest form, this unlawful behavior occurs when an employer makes some sort of employment decision based on an employee's sex. For example, a company cannot refuse to hire a prospective worker or fail to promote a current worker simply because she is a woman. Other employment decisions that cannot be made solely on account of gender include those regarding benefits, pay, or training. Whenever an employer treats an employee or group of employees differently because of sex, there is a risk of illegal discrimination.

Sexual harassment is another form of this prohibited conduct. It may take the form of a hostile work environment, where an employee endures an offensive, hostile, or intimidating atmosphere at the office. It may also manifest in quid pro quo form, which usually involves an offer to confer an employment benefit in exchange for some kind of sexual favor. Beyond these rules, California state law also prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

Two Laws Protect Workers from Adverse Actions Based on Sex

Generally, there are two laws that prohibit sex discrimination in the workplace. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the primary federal law that makes this conduct illegal. The Civil Rights Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees, although it does not provide a clear prohibition on discrimination based on gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Before an employee can proceed with a federal lawsuit making one of these claims, he or she must first file an administrative complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is the state law that bars this behavior in California workplaces. FEHA has a broader scope than the federal Civil Rights Act because it applies to more employers, including those with five or more employees. It also explicitly covers workers who may have faced discrimination resulting from sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. As with the federal law, victims of FEHA violations must file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) before pursuing a lawsuit in court. The DFEH will then assess the employee’s claim and either pursue the complaint on his or her behalf or issue a right to sue. An employee need only file one complaint with either the DFEH or the EEOC before taking his or her claim to court.

Los Angeles Lawyer Holding Employers Accountable for Discriminatory Actions

Companies with the anachronistic view that an employee’s gender should be a basis for employment decisions are breaking the law. If you are the victim of this discriminatory conduct, you can hold an employer or prospective employer responsible. Experienced sexual harassment attorney Vincent Calderone has years of experience fighting for the rights of employees from Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas. To see if the Calderone Law Firm can help you, fill out our contact form, or call (424) 348-8290.