Discrimination still exists in the workplace. But today, discrimination is usually subtle. Gone are the days when an employer will say “we’re firing you because you’re gay” or “old” or “black.” Nowadays, discrimination is covered up with a “pretext” – which is an alternative excuse for the termination. For example, companies fire people all the time because of “poor performance” but the real reason is the employee recently became disabled, came out of the closet, or informed the company that they were pregnant.
Workplace Discrimination Attorney
California law prohibits companies from taking any adverse employment action against a employee because of the characteristics listed below. An “adverse action” can be termination, demotion, a cut in pay, or an undesirable transfer.
- Age (if 40 or over)
- National origin
- Physical or mental disability
- Medical condition
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions of any female employee
In fact, reverse discrimination is fairly common. Reverse discrimination is when a member of a majority protected class (white people, christians, etc) are discriminated against simply because they are a member of the protected class.
Discrimination based on Perception
The law also prohibits discrimination based on the perception of protected characteristics (the perception that the aggrieved individual has one of the above protected characteristics, even if he or she in fact does not). Additionally, an employer may not take an adverse action based upon a person’s association with another person (e.g., spouse) who has or is perceived to have one of the above protected characteristics.
If you believe your company has terminated you, skipped your promotion, or demoted you because of one of the above characteristics, call our employment attorney and law firm immediately. While our office is located in Orange County, we serve clients throughout California.