Discrimination Attorneys Serving Los Angeles, California

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which oversees federal laws on employment discrimination, in Fiscal Year 2021 (the latest period being reported), there were 1,010 claims of discrimination filed against employers in California.  

In the Golden State, the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) also fields complaints by employees, former employees, and job applicants for instances of retaliation or discrimination.  

If your business in or around Los Angeles is being confronted with complaints of employment discrimination through either the EEOC or DFEH or is facing a lawsuit, contact the employment law attorneys at Lerner & Weiss.  

We can help you stay in compliance with all state and federal anti-discrimination laws to keep your business running smoothly and help prevent future claims of discrimination. We will also defend you against any pending legal action. Lerner & Weiss proudly serves clients throughout Woodland Hills, San Diego, Ventura County, Santa Ana, and the Greater Los Angeles area. 

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What Is Discrimination? 

On the federal level, anti-discrimination laws began with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which established “protected classes” based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin to prevent discrimination in hiring, promoting, and firing. Since then, other federal legislation and court interpretations have extended protections to additional classes based on pregnancy, age (40 and older), veteran status, disability, genetic information, equal pay, gender identity, and sexual orientation. 

As a result, an employer cannot place a job advertisement that says, for instance, “Do not apply if you’re 40 or older,” although most ads would probably be more subtly worded, such as, “Job requires youthful energy” or something similar. The same would hold true if the advertisement precluded applicants based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected class. 

In promoting personnel on staff, an employer cannot choose only a certain race or age of employees to be eligible. Similarly, if the company is downsizing, it cannot simply get rid of the older workers or those of a minority background. 

California has similar statutory protections and actually extends the list of protected classes, including race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, age (40 and older), sexual orientation, or military or veteran status. 

Retaliation is also prohibited but represents the single largest category of complaints received by the EEOC. Suppose an employee files a complaint with the EEOC or another federal or state agency, and the company is then investigated. Or, an employee begins a labor organization drive that the company wants to thwart. The employer cannot retaliate against the employee who lodged the complaint or began the organizing effort by denying that person benefits due, denying a deserved promotion, or worse, even finding (or creating) a reason to terminate the claimant. 

Disparate Impact vs. Disparate Treatment 

Other aspects of discrimination include disparate impact and disparate treatment, or alternately, adverse impact and adverse treatment. Disparate impact is often viewed as unintentional, and disparate treatment as intentional. 

For instance, if a company uses a test to screen job applicants, but the test turns out to eliminate certain minority applicants, that is known as disparate impact. The result is unintentional but real. Disparate treatment, on the other hand, would occur if the test was administered only to certain applicants and not to everyone who applied.  

Discrimination Attorneys Serving Los Angeles, California 

Our employment law attorneys at Lerner & Weiss have years of experience in helping employers stay in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. We have also been active in negotiations, as well as in the courtroom if matters end up in a civil lawsuit. Reach out to us immediately with all your questions and concerns.