Articles Posted in race discrimination

As an employee in California, you have rights under both state and federal law that protect you from harassment and discrimination based on your belonging to a protected classification. For example, if you are a woman paid substantially less than male colleagues doing the same work, that’s a form of gender discrimination on the basis of sex – a protected class. Los Angeles employment lawyer

In fielding hundreds of inquiries over the years from California workers whose rights are being violated on-the-job, our Los Angeles employment attorneys want to ensure as many people as possible understand what exactly harassment, discrimination and retaliation is and how to best address it.

What is Workplace Discrimination? 

Discrimination is adverse treatment by an employer against workers who fall into a protected class. California employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Gender (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity/expression
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Military/veteran status
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking or assault

This is much more extensive than the federal law, and some cities in California have their own rules that extend protections even further. Continue reading

American actress and voice artist Gabrielle Union was a popular fixture on America’s Got Talent this past season. Fans were shocked by NBC’s seemingly abrupt announcement that she wouldn’t be returning for a second season. Many more were troubled by allegations that followed – specifically that they were axed for complaining that the culture on set had become “toxic,” with Union and co-host Julianne Hough reportedly receiving multiple complaints that their hairstyles were “too black.” workplace racial discrimination

The timing of the incident is noteworthy for the fact that it comes just a few weeks shy of California’s CROWN Act becoming law on Jan. 1, 2020. Also known as Senate Bill 188, the measure shields black women and men from workplace discrimination for wearing natural hairstyles. California was the first in the country to sign such a law. New York and New Jersey have become the second and third, several cities have done the same and more may follow.

As our workplace racial discrimination attorneys in Los Angeles can explain, these laws ban polices that penalize people of color for wearing their hair in natural curls, twists, dreadlocks, braids or other styles that embrace their cultural identity. Black women in particular have said they have felt pressure for decades (if not longer) to use chemical relaxers, weaves, excessive heat and other measures to conform to the straight hair standard of European hair. One analysis by Nielsen found that black consumers spent nearly $475 million on hair care just in a single recent year. Pressure to do so, many black women have said, is from schools or employers who refuse to accept braids or natural locks as a “neat” or “professional” hair style. Continue reading

There are many federal and California laws that protect employees from discrimination and retaliatory action. It’s important when pursuing your claim to file under the proper cause of action to ensure the greatest change of success. That’s why it’s so important to choose an Orange County employment attorney with a wealth of experience and a verifiable track record of success. racial discrimination

Recently in Sacramento, a man sued a local baseball club for racial discrimination, alleging the club refused to hire him on the basis of his race. His complaint alleged common tort law violations under the Unruh and Ralph Civil Rights Acts, and further committed unfair business practices as outlined under Business and Professions Code section 17200.

The trial court dismissed his claim after finding that while failure or refusal to hire a prospective employee on the basis of race is a violation of public policy (including both the state Constitution as well as the General Code), the proper remedy through the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Were he an employee, he might have found resolution in a common law tort, but as an applicant, the claim needed be filed under FEHA. The California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District affirmed.

It might seem a ridiculous technicality, but claims must be properly stated at the outset in order for courts to properly consider them. A slight misunderstanding of California’s employment statutes and case law could end up costing you valuable time. Improperly state your claim and you might run the risk of being forever barred from continuing to pursue it if you’re too late to file again before the statute of limitations runs out. Continue reading

Dozens of civil rights groups have filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to review a racial discrimination case against a large telecommunications conglomerate by a black Hollywood mogul. The concern is that depending on how the SCOTUS decides, workplace racial discrimination protections could be weakened.racial discrimination

The head of the NAACP characterized the harm that could be caused to civil rights could be “irreparable.”

The federal lawsuit filed in California by the entertainment executive alleges the television corporation refused to carry his cable TV channels, and asserts the company did so because of his race. He’s seeking $20 billion.

As Los Angeles racial discrimination attorneys can explain, the legal question at issue is whether a plaintiff in such a case needs to show whether race is the only reason for an adverse employment decision, or if it need only be proven that discrimination was a motivating factor. Continue reading

As longtime labor and employment attorneys, we represent individuals from all backgrounds. Recently, amid internal strife within the Democratic party, President Donald Trump stirred a firestorm of controversy when he called out four far-left Congresswomen (AKA “The Squad”), directing them to “go back” to the countries from which they/their ancestors came.national origin discrimination lawyer Los Angeles

The exact phrase used within his series of tweets was:

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

The issue is not the fact that the president has some folks in an uproar, as this is nothing new.

EEOC Considers Comments in This Vein Evidence of Racial Discrimination

What our Los Angles racial discrimination employment lawyers can say is this:

Far in advance of this maelstrom, the federal agency responsible for enforcement of anti-discriminatory employment laws expressly noted a phrase very similar and in the same vein as that shared by the president, noting it to be the type of language that might violate federal anti-discrimination employment laws. Continue reading

California lawmakers are mulling the possibility of a bill that would protect students and workers from discrimination based on the style of one’s natural hair, including braids, afros and twists. The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) would add hairstyle and texture associate with race to anti-discrimination laws in the state. racial discrimination Los Angeles

The measure, which was passed by the state Senate, now faces challenge, will now be considered by the state Assembly. The sponsor of the bill was quoted as saying that dress codes effectively banning “kinky” hair penalize African Americans for their naturally-occurring hair texture. Many black individuals – women in particular – have spent a great deal of money on chemical treatments that are both harsh and damaging in order to fit prescribed Eurocentric standard for what “professional” hair looks like.

Los Angeles race discrimination attorneys know that people who are black – as both employees and applicants – have been denied employment and promotion and even fired for the way they chose to wear their hair. Black children in schools have been made to feel embarrassed and ashamed because their natural hair was considered “unruly” or some kind of a “distraction to others.” Continue reading

It is illegal – in California and across the U.S., per the EEOC –  to discriminate against a job applicant based on their race, color, religion, gender (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy) national origin, age (over 40), disability or genetic information. Yet one of the most frequently-used forums to lure new hires has essentially been facilitating just that, according to critics and a few employment lawsuits filed by the National Fair Housing Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Communication Workers of America. Los Angeles employment discrimination attorney

Social media giant Facebook has faced years of criticism that it allowed companies advertising job listings to use key categories allowing employers to cherry-pick who their ads would be shown to based on age group, gender and race. The New York Times now reports Facebook has agreed it will stop doing this.

It’s not just prospective employees that have been complaining either. Those advertising credit and housing have also been allowed to screen their ads so that they would only show to a certain subset of social media users. (Housing and credit are also regulated by federal anti-discrimination laws that bar selection of applicants on such bases.) Continue reading

In order to be successful in claiming employment discrimination in California, employees must first assert they are part of a protected class that received unfair treatment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains that to discriminate means to treat someone less favorably and disparately, with federal protections extending to individuals on the basis of gender, religion, color, race, national origin, disability or age (over 40). In California, unlawful practices spelled out by the Fair Employment and Housing Act 12940 outlines protections for these classes, but also for:

  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Gender identity/gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military or veteran statusemployment discrimination attorney Los Angeles

Part of the reason California’s additional protected classes matter is they go farther than federal law, giving unfairly-treated employees more options to pursue action.

As Los Angeles employment discrimination attorneys can explain, “protected classes” aren’t merely limited to minorities. But employment discrimination is often subtle – and doesn’t necessarily need to actually be a part of a protected class in order to be protected. Discrimination based on the perception of belonging or association with others in these classes can be actionable in California employment discrimination cases too.

Perceived Protected Class Employment Discrimination Continue reading

Los Angeles racial discrimination attorneys know that “black hair discrimination” is real. But is it illegal? The question that gets to the core of federal anti-discrimination law is how do we define discrimination in employment on the basis of race? But Los Angeles racial discrimination lawyers know that when the U.S. Supreme Court had the opportunity recently to determine whether one’s styling of natural hair could be considered a means of racial discrimination, it declined, allowed the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals 2017 ruling to stand.hair discrimination Los Angeles attorney

In that case, EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, plaintiff, a black woman who wore her hair in dreadlocks, applied for a job at a call center, one in which no direct public contact would be required. Nonetheless, the company told the woman she would need to cut her dreadlocks because the company grooming policy prohibited “excessive hairstyles or unusual colors.” The applicant refused to cut her hair, the job offer was rescinded and she sued for racial discrimination in employment. The appellate panel, ruling in the employer’s favor, decided that protections under federal Title VII doesn’t extend to one’s hairstyle, which the court held is associated with culture and other traits as opposed to the “immutable physical characteristic” by which race is defined. The court did question why the EEOC didn’t pursue this as a disparate action claim (i.e., the policy may be race-neutral, but can have a discriminatory impact on a protected individual or group of people). That leaves the door open for the possibility that a successful claim within that circuit could be pursued.

The 11th Circuit’s ruling also appears to directly contradict the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1989 decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, in which the court ruled federal civil rights law barred discrimination on the basis of stereotypes – regardless of whether the stereotype in question involves a trait that is immutable. (That case specifically dealt with gender discrimination and a woman denied upward professional mobility for – in the employer’s view – not wearing enough makeup or walking/talking more femininely. The court held the policy wan’t a legitimately non-discriminatory basis on which to deny plaintiff a promotion, but rather a pretext that disguised gender discrimination.) Continue reading

A California racial discrimination lawsuit alleges wrongful termination after a public service bus driver was placed on leave and then fired soon after filing a grievance against a passenger who reportedly made violent, racist statement toward the driver.racial discrimination employment attorney

Similar cases have been cropping up across the country, calling into question the age-old adage, “The customer is always right.” But if the customer is sexist or racist or abusive or violent, Orange County employment attorneys know companies have a legal responsibility to protect their employees from a toxic work environment. That include discriminatory actions of customers that go unchecked.

Another alleged case out of New York involved a large chain store worker and “cashier of the month” (who is also black) was fired for defending himself when a customer (upset for being told to leash his dog) told him he belonged in the ghetto, wouldn’t have a job if not for the current president, swore at the employee and called the former president a Muslim. The worker responded by saying the customer wouldn’t be speaking to him that way if they weren’t at his place of employment. The company said his firing was the result of the worker’s “failure to disengage and alert management about a customer confrontation.” However, a few days after The Washington Post published a story, the company backtracked and said they’d rescind the termination and offer back pay. But the worker didn’t want it, saying the environment at the company had become toxic. It’s also plausible he’ll receive more in a racial discrimination employment lawsuit. Continue reading