The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) submits an annual report every year showing the trends in discrimination cases. The DFEH enforces the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and the Ralph Civil Rights Act.
Reviewing the DFEH’s annual report shows the trends that are occurring in terms of discrimination in California. Despite the fact that decades have passed since the first civil rights legislation was signed into law, a review of the DFEH data shows that discrimination continues to be a very real problem. A Costa Mesa employment law attorney can provide assistance to victims of discriminatory behavior on the job.
Discrimination Trends in California
Business Management Daily reported on the discrimination trends in the state of California. The data showed that:
- In 2012, there were 21,463 cases filed with the DFEH. A full 92 percent of the cases related to employment law matters.
- A total of 13,452 cases were filed for disability discrimination. This is one of the main causes of DFEH cases.
- Race and color discrimination resulted in 6,990 cases being filed with the DFEH.
- A total of 6,169 cases were filed related to sexual harassment.
Disability discrimination is such a common cause of complaint because there are so many disabled people in the workforce today. One out of every four adults has some type of mental illness that affects him or her over the course of the year. Approximately one out of every 17 people has a serious mental illness. In addition to mental problems, musculoskeletal or connective tissue disorders; cancer; injuries and poisonings; and cardiovascular disorders were also top causes of disability claims in 2012.
Although a high number of disability cases is expected to continue as the population ages and more people develop medical conditions, the DFEH lists gender-based discrimination cases as the type of claims expected to increase most notably in 2014.
Cases based on gender are likely to increase because of additions to the protected classes that the California Government Code and the Unruh Civil Rights Act include. Cases related to gender do not just focus on discrimination on the basis of being male or on the basis of being female. Gender-based discrimination cases can also related to a person’s gender identity or his or her gender expression.
Another trend to look for in 2014 is an expected increase in the number of cases brought under the California Family Rights and Pregnancy leave laws.
Finally, it is expected that more cases will be mediated and settled through the DFEH next year. In 2012, around 15 percent of cases were resolved through the DFEH mediation process. Now, dispute resolution is mandatory for all cases in which DFEH has plans to file a civil action. When mediation occurs, there is a good chance it will work since DFEH’s dispute resolution services have an 80 percent settlement rate.
Before settling any discrimination case, even as part of DFEH’s mediation, it is advisable for employees to speak with an attorney for assistance in protecting their rights.
Costa Mesa employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 714-937-2020.
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