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Does California Have Employment Discrimination Laws?

Mar 7, 2022 | Discrimination

Yes, California has discrimination laws. Employers who discriminate against a protected class of employees or job candidates are breaking the law, according to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Victims of workplace discrimination have the right to sue their employer for monetary damages.

How Can I Tell Whether I’ve Been Treated Unjustly Due To Discrimination?

Evidence of discrimination in the workplace could include demonstrating that particular groups of employees are treated differently than others. It could also involve abrupt shifts in an employer’s attitude toward an employee after learning that the individual belongs to a protected group.

If you think you are being discriminated against, please look for the following examples:

  • Unprecedented shifts in work performance evaluations
  • Eliminated from meetings and events
  • Changes in work responsibilities or an increase/decrease in workload
  • Various types of rule enforcement involving workers from various backgrounds
  • Company’s failure to discourage racist or sexist jokes in the workplace
  • Bantering about accent or sexual orientation
  • Ignorance towards such persons

Employers that are members of the same protected class as the employee are nonetheless permitted to discriminate. An African-American manager, for example, could prejudice against an African-American employee or candidate. A female employer can treat a female applicant unfairly because of her gender.

Is It Considered Discrimination If I’ve Never Been Hired?

Before an individual is ever hired, employment discrimination rules apply to job applications, job seekers, and interview circumstances. Improper job application forms or interview questions could be a symptom of probable employment discrimination. When an employer asks a person these questions, they may be breaking the law.

  • Nationality
  • Ancestry
  • Race/Religion
  • Sexual preference
  • Disability, either mental or physical
  • Record of Arrests

Employers may not force a candidate to take a medical or psychological assessment if no other prospective workers are required to do so, or if the examination is not job-related and in line with business requirements. An employer, on the other hand, may ask job applicants if they are capable of performing the job’s essential functions and how they would carry out the duties.

After an applicant has been granted a position, the employer can condition it on the applicant passing a medical exam or answering medical questions if all new workers in a similar job function must also answer these questions or undergo a medical exam.

After Being Discriminated Against, How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit Against My Employer?

It is a civil right under California law to be able to seek and keep work without being discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other forms of unlawful discrimination. Employees who are discriminated against might launch a discrimination lawsuit against their employers.

You only have a limited amount of time to initiate a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination in the workplace. The time restriction is determined in part by the manner in which your complaint was handled. However, depending on the circumstances, these dates may be extended or shortened.

The time limits to file a lawsuit vary depending on if its a federal discrimination lawsuit or a California discrimination law suit. See below for details.

Violations of California’s Discrimination Law

In general, you must file a complaint with the DFEH within three years of the latest act of discrimination or retaliation in the workplace. Before you can bring a case in civil court, you must first get a Right-to-Sue notice. You have one year from the date the state sends you a notice of your right to sue or does not pursue your claim to file a lawsuit in state court.

Violations of the Federal Discrimination Law

You have 180 days to file a federal employment discrimination complaint. However, if a state or local agency enforces employment discrimination statutes on the same premise as the EEOC, the period can be extended to 300 days. Employees in California would have 300 days to submit an EEOC complaint for the majority of employment discrimination claims.

You must first get a notice of right to sue in order to file a federal employment discrimination claim. After receiving a notification of right to sue from the EEOC, the employee usually has 90 days to bring a civil case.

Discrimination Other Than Employment Discrimination

Aside from employment discrimination, there are other types of discrimination as well. Some of the other types of discrimination are related to housing, education, and finances such as loans or sales.

Have More Questions About Discrimination Laws?

If you or someone you know has been discriminated against at the workplace, feel free to contact KAASS LAW today at 310-933-5171. Our specialized employment attorneys will be able to assist you with this matter.