Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

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Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Employment Discrimination Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

California has some of the most expansive state-level employee protections in the country. Unfortunately, many people living and working in the Los Angeles area are unaware of the full scope of the legal protections available. If you have recently encountered any type of discrimination in the workplace, you may have grounds for legal action against your employer. An experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer is the ideal asset in this situation, and the Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez are ready to assist you with your claim.

Our team has years of experience representing Los Angeles clients in a wide range of employment discrimination cases.

Discrimination takes many forms and can have disastrous effects on the affected employee and their family. Similarly, the employment laws in California can be difficult to navigate if you have no formal experience with employment law. Your Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can assist you in determining your options for a legal claim.

los angeles employment discrimination attorney

Why Should I Hire a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Attorney?

If you recently experienced any form of discrimination from an employer or prospective employer, you might assume that the at-will employment laws in California shield them from legal repercussions. At-will employment laws exist to protect employees from exploitative work relationships and provide employers with the flexibility to hire and fire workers as they deem fit. At first glance, at-will employment appears to allow an employer or an employee to terminate a work relationship at any time, with or without prior notice, for any reason or no reason at all. However, the reality is that an employer may not fire an employee for an illegal discriminatory reason and then hide behind the at-will employment statute as justification.

Hiring an experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer is the best way to prove an employer’s unethical or illegal behavior. While an employer may claim that a recent hiring or firing decision was made on an at-will basis, evidence may prove otherwise. Your attorney can help you secure physical evidence and/or witness testimony that supports your case. They can also help you navigate the claim process with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an essential first step for most employment discrimination cases in the US.

Understanding the EEOC Claim Process in Los Angeles, California

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination laws of the US and reviewing claims of workplace discrimination and harassment. If you believe your recent experience qualifies as employment discrimination, you may not be able to sue your employer directly without filing a claim with the EEOC or an equivalent state agency. Your claim must explain what happened and the evidence you have to support it. You must explain how your employer’s recent behavior was discriminatory and how it impacted your life.

Hiring an experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer is the best way to approach an EEOC claim. Your legal team will assist you with drafting your claim and handle correspondence with the EEOC on your behalf. The EEOC will review your claim and before you can initiate a legal action, you will need a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). This document allows you to proceed with a civil claim against your employer.

los angeles employment discrimination lawyer

Commonly Reported Types of Employment Discrimination

It’s possible for employment discrimination to occur in many ways. In the US, it is illegal for any employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant on the basis of:

  • Race, ethnicity, or skin color
  • Sex or sexual orientation
  • Medical status or disability
  • Age
  • Religion

These personal traits are protected in the United States under the laws of the EEOC. Under the law, employees are protected from workplace discrimination when it includes:

    • Mistreatment: If an employee is mistreated based on a protected status. This includes mistreatment based on race, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, medical status or diagnosis, veteran status, or religious beliefs.Some states include additional protected classes than what the national level requires. Also, some cities add their own protected classes that may not be included at the state level.
    • Harassment: Employees are protected from being harassed by their employers. Some forms of harassment include using racial slurs or offensive jokes and statements or threatening with physical attack.Sexual harassment also falls under this umbrella. Sexual harassment can be direct, such as making sexual advances through unwanted and inappropriate physical touch or vocalizing sexual innuendos.This can also include making inappropriate comments about how a person looks or dresses. Sometimes, it can be more blatant, like suggesting sexual favors in exchange for work done.
    • Retaliation: Employers cannot retaliate against an employee for any reason. Most times, retaliation happens when an employee speaks up when their employer has broken an employment law. Employees have the right to speak up to management, their supervisors, or even different organizations when fairness or safety is compromised in the workplace.This can look like telling a supervisor about a machine that is hazardous to the employees’ overall health or filing a complaint for discriminatory comments. Sometimes, an employee may be afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation. However, the law protects employees from retaliation for speaking up.Retaliation can look like docking pay, terminating the employee, demoting the employee, relocating the employee, or denying requests that are normally granted, especially requests that are granted to other employees instead.
    • Denial of Reasonable Accommodations: Employees have the right to reasonable accommodations for religious reasons, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and the disabled.Employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees in these categories. A lawyer can explain to you what constitutes a reasonable accommodation.

There are also various other important pieces of legislation in place designed to protect American workers, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employers who knowingly violate these laws and discriminate against employees are liable for damages along with fines and other penalties.

Success with an employment discrimination claim could help prevent others from experiencing the same adverse treatment. You could also secure compensation for any damages resulting from employment discrimination. For example, you can hold the employer accountable for any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred due to their actions. These expenses may include your attorneys’ fees, the cost of a job search after being denied employment by discrimination, and medical expenses. Some claimants will qualify to claim lost income, compensation for lost benefits, and even compensation for their emotional distress.

What Should I Do if I’m Being Discriminated Against at Work?

Before any legal action is taken, we recommend that your first step is to document everything, including and following the discriminatory incident. This helps you build your evidence in case the case needs to go further.

Next, submit a written complaint. It is important to try to go through the proper internal channels, even if you feel that it would be ineffective. Employers have a responsibility to try to resolve the issue internally if a complaint is filed. Also, it gives you more proof that you tried to resolve the issue before resorting to other formal complaints.

When a person faces workplace discrimination, they must file a complaint with the EEOC before they can file a claim with the courts. The EEOC is required to take some sort of action after they receive your claim.

There are time limits to filing the paperwork. Typically, a person must file a complaint within 300 days of the incident. The complaint can be filed:

      • Online: By using the EEOC online portal.
      • In Person: By visiting an EEOC office. This may be helpful if you have any additional questions or concerns. A representative at the EEOC office can assess your concerns and answer any questions you have.
      • By Phone: By talking to a representative to begin the process. Although paperwork cannot be accepted by phone, a representative can answer your questions and help you get the process started for submission.
      • By Mail: By submitting a signed letter with pertinent information. In the letter, be sure to include your name, contact information, and your employer’s information.

You will also want to describe the incident that took place, when it happened, and why it happened (i.e. because you were pregnant or disabled). Don’t forget to sign it. The letter cannot be processed unless it is signed.

After the complaint is filed with the EEOC, they will review it and either deny the claim or issue a right to sue. If you receive a right to sue, you may file a claim with the court. This claim must be filed within 90 days.

What to Expect from Your Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Many workers who experience employment discrimination wonder how they can prove the truth behind their experiences and hold employers accountable. California enforces an at-will employment law that allows employers and employees to terminate working relationships at any time, with or without notice, and with no requirement to cite a specific reason. As mentioned, a misunderstanding of this law causes many workers in California to believe that employers have carte blanche to fire employees whenever they like. However, it does not permit firing an employee for an illegal reason.

Your Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to substantiate your claim. Proving discrimination is very difficult, especially when it comes to discrimination during the hiring process. Your attorney will need to prove that a hiring decision was based on your protected personal qualities rather than your qualifications for the job in question. When it comes to discriminatory firings, your attorney can ask coworkers to provide testimony regarding any discriminatory statements against you. The attorney may also recover evidence from work emails and other recorded correspondence.

Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

FAQs About Los Angeles, CA Employment Discrimination Law

How Much Do Employment Lawyers Charge in California?

The cost of an employment lawyer considers a number of factors. Some lawyers charge by the hour, some charge only if the case is won, some charge a flat rate, and some are on retainer.

Lawyers with an established reputation and years of experience will cost more. If the case is more complex, it will increase the cost. With this in mind, it is difficult to determine an average cost. However, many charge between $150 and $400 an hour.

How Do I Prove Discrimination at Work in California?

In order to prove discrimination at work, you must have documented evidence of the occurrence, showing:

      • You are qualified for the job.
      • You have been mistreated based on your characteristics.
      • The discrimination negatively affected your employment. For example, you were demoted, denied a raise or promotion, or received a pay cut.
      • The unfair treatment is not given to others, not in your protected class.

How Do I File a Discrimination Complaint Against an Employer in California?

First, you must file a complaint with the EEOC. This complaint must be sent within 300 days of the incident. The EEOC will review your complaint and let you know if you can move forward with a claim to the court.

Claims sent to the court must be sent within 90 days of EEOC approval. We recommend having as much evidence as possible for your claim. We also recommend that you attempt to resolve the issue with your employer first.

What Is Considered Discrimination in the Workplace in California?

Discrimination is unfair treatment based on protected class status. Protected classes include race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, and medical/disability status.

Discrimination laws also protect employees from retaliation if they speak up and take action against discrimination taking place. Retaliation can be threats, termination, docked pay, demotion, or creating a hostile work environment.

Contact a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Attorney

It’s natural to feel isolated and hopeless when you have been the victim of employment discrimination of any kind. You might fear there is no way to hold your employer responsible. However, the reality is that an experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney can provide the guidance and reassurance you need to pursue justice.

The Law Offices of Miguel S. Ramirez have years of experience handling a wide range of employment discrimination claims on behalf of our clients in the Los Angeles, CA area. We can put this experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the legal services an experienced Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney can offer.

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