Working with an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer, it is absolutely possible to prevail in a California employment lawsuit. The amount of damages (monetary compensation) you receive as a result of winning your case will depend on a myriad of factors. Because your attorney is probably working your case on a contingency fee basis (paid a portion of awarded damages if outcome if successful, paid nothing if not), he or she is likely to consider and discuss all of this with you before you even begin the process, as potential valuation of a case can determine whether it’s worth pursuing in the first place.employment attorney L.A.

Your Los Angeles employment lawyer can explain, there are two basic types of damages that can be awarded in California employment lawsuits involving discrimination or unfair wages. These are compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory damages will cover workplace discrimination victims for out-of-pocket expenses and actual losses. These involve both tangible losses like the amount of wages lost, medical expenses required or job search costs incurred. It may also involve intangible losses like mental anguish or loss of life enjoyment. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to penalize the employer whose actions are deemed reckless and malicious.

Some examples of compensatory damages awarded in California employment lawsuits (including discrimination and wage-and-hour) include:

  • Lost wages/benefits
  • Costs for retraining/job search
  • Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, loss of professional reputation, etc.
  • Attorney’s fees

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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

Employment discrimination can be subtle, but it is described as unequal treatment or attitudes toward one group of employees or against another resulting in unfair, adverse impacts to a protected class of employees or prospective employees. Among the most common questions our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys receive is, “How do I file an employment discrimination lawsuit in California?” One of the first things we need to determine is whether you belong to a protected class, and if so, whether they suffered disparate and negative treatment as at least partially a result of being in that class. Riverside Employment Discrimination Lawyer

The California Fair Employment Practices Act marks its 60th anniversary in 2019. The law prohibits discrimination against employees and/or applicants on the basis of one’s actual or perceived belonging or association with one of the following protected classes:

Gender (this provision also bars sexual harassment);

  • Race and Color
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • National Origin or Ancestry
  • Religious Creed
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth or Related Conditions (including lactation)
  • Disability
  • Age (pertains to individuals over the age of 40)

Once our Riverside employment discrimination attorneys examine the facts of the case to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to file a claim, we’ll give you a detailed rundown of your legal options. Unlike other types of civil claims, the process of filing an employment discrimination claim doesn’t always go straight to court. Continue reading

The Los Angeles Police Department was one of the first in the nation actively hiring LGBT law enforcement officers in the late 90s. Yet a recent report by USA Today detailed the ways in which law enforcement officers in California who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender were allegedly discriminated against for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Los Angeles LGBT employment discrimination attorney

In one case, plaintiff, a gay black man, said his fellow officers at the state highway patrol said that not only was the harassment demeaning (tying hangers in the shape of penises around the area of his locker, lobbing homophobic slurs at him, carving his name off an award plaque), it put his life at risk. When he called for backup during tense vehicle impoundments, high-speed stolen car pursuits or investigations into hit-and-run accidents, his fellow officers wouldn’t even respond. This led to a workplace environment that was not only hostile, but dangerous. And it’s been going on for years. Even as a cadet at the state highway patrol, a fellow cadet put a gun to his head, saying he knew he was a homosexual and threatening to pull the trigger.

Plaintiff filed one complaint after another internally. Supervisors, he alleges, did nothing. So three years ago, he sued the California State Highway Patrol for LGBT workplace discrimination. He cited 20 years of  discrimination and harassment. His was one in a wave of lawsuits asserting anti-gay discrimination by law enforcement agents. Many of them describe workplace environments that were abusive and hostile. Some said they were subjected cruel taunts – on top of limitations on career opportunities. Their work standards were starkly different compared to other officers. They were passed over for key promotions. They were denied protection on-the-job. All of it, our LGBT discrimination attorneys understand, came down to their sexual orientation.  Continue reading

Transgender worker rights have come under attack in recent years, with President Donald Trump’s recent ban on transgender military members upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and a memo issued last year by the Department of Health and Human Services urging key agencies to adopt definitions of gender that are uniform, explicit, unchangeable and determined by the genitals with which a person was born.

But Los Angeles transgender discrimination attorneys took note of a recent bright spot.Los Angeles gender discrimination

Jurors in Iowa ruled in a transgender discrimination civil lawsuit that the warden of a prison discriminated against a transgender employee by denying him access to men’s locker rooms and bathrooms. The jury also determined the executive branch of the state discriminated by refusing to cover benefits for the worker’s gender reassignment surgery. Plaintiff was awarded $120,000 in damages for emotional distress.

The former nurse was the first to file a lawsuit following a state civil rights law that passed in 2007 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Continue reading

Medical marijuana worker protections aren’t guaranteed in California – but they are growing nationally, and workplaces should take note. California became the first state to permit use of the drug for medicinal purposes and 33 states plus Washington D.C. have followed suit, with 10 (including California, plus D.C.) have permitted use of the drug recreationally. However, as Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, none of that guarantees a worker’s job will be safe if they use marijuana – even if it’s done recreationally and off-the-job. employee attorney Los Angeles

Companies need to start paying close attention to these cases, as there is an increased likelihood California employees with medical marijuana cards will enjoy increasing workplace protections. This amid a 2018 Pew Research Center Poll finding 62 percent of Americans favor legalization of marijuana, double the number who answered in the affirmative in 2000.

It used to be that courts largely rejected California wrongful termination lawsuits relating to medical marijuana use by employees. But then two years ago, a state court in Rhode Island ruled that a manufacturing company was not allowed to refuse hiring of a paid intern who used medical marijuana in accordance with state law just because she would test positive for the drug.  Continue reading

A health care worker was recently awarded more than $1 million for California disability employment discrimination after she alleged a work injury led to her firing after her employer refused her reasonable accommodation.Riverside employment disability discrimination attorney

Our Riverside disability employment discrimination attorneys have dealt with many cases of disability discrimination stemming from an employer’s failure to provide reasonable accommodation, as outlined by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. What this law means is if you have a physical or mental disability – work related or otherwise – your employer (or any employer with more than four employees) must provide reasonable accommodations for you to apply for or perform the essential function of your job, “unless it would cause an undue hardship.”

What is an “Undue Hardship” in California Employment Litigation?

As outlined in the the 2105 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in US EEOC v. Placer ARC, in order for an accommodation to be an “undue hardship,” an accommodation needs to be proven by the defense to be unduly disruptive, substantial and extensive. It need not necessarily break the company financially, but it would a defendant employer would need to show it was enough to impact the basic operational flexibility. Continue reading

Age discrimination permeates workplaces across California within all industries and income brackets, with one study revealing reports of on-the-job ageism rising 44 percent in the last two decades. Riverside age discrimination attorneys know it’s only likely to get worse as the population ages. People are working well into their 70s and even 80s, unlike generations past, which means there is greater competition for jobs. By 2022, Generation Z will be hitting the workforce, setting the stage for even fiercer competition.age discrimination lawyer

In yet another recent California age discrimination claim, 18 plaintiffs allege they were targeted for their age, wrongly accused of “not meeting goals,” forced to give up client bases (which were then handed to younger insurance agents) and then either wrongfully terminated or forced to resign. One insurance agent was reportedly told he could work until he retired, but that he’d be forced to give up his client base – after 35 years of service as an agent for the same company. Plaintiffs are also alleging they were wrongfully characterized as independent contractors, despite the fact that the company controlled nearly every aspect of their daily work (a significant factor in the determination of whether someone is or is not an independent contractor).

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) offers protection for workers over the age of 40 from workplace discrimination based on age. Despite this, officials with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission referred to the problem of age discrimination as an “open secret,” and has vowed to target the issue aggressively this year and perhaps beyond.  Continue reading

Allegations of California age discrimination at tech companies are continuing to pile up. One of those on the receiving end of this litigation is IBM, which has noted in a March 2018 ProPublica investigation, had eliminated more than 200,000 of its employees over the age of 40 – roughly 60 percent of its estimated total U.S. job cuts – just in the five years preceding. Los Angeles age discrimination attorneys at Nassiri Law Group noted recently that same investigation was cited in a Jan. 17, 2019 employer retaliation affidavit filed by a former executive as evidence in a pending class action lawsuit. The executive alleging she was ordered by her employer not to comply with the request of a federal agency to turn over the names of employees over 50 who had been laid off by the company.Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer

Further, the then-vice president and senior executive at the company’s Nevada branch, she warned superiors that the company was vulnerable to age discrimination claims because of its layoff practices. She now alleges she was fired in 2017 as a result of giving these warnings. A company spokeswoman denied this in a statement issued to a ProPublica reporter following up, saying the executive’s termination was entirely unrelated to age discrimination allegations, and that the 39-year veteran of the company, age 62, was terminated for “gross misconduct.” The former employee indicated in court records that she’d received decades of excellent reviews and insisted the misconduct charge was unfounded.

As noted in the 2018 story, the company reportedly (as indicated in at least one internal company record) intended to attain the “correct seniority mix.” Former employees – including this one – allege these practices flouted federal and California age discrimination laws. Continue reading

A California employment litigation law firm is battling allegations of gender discrimination, with plaintiffs in two lawsuits alleging the firm discriminates against female law firm partners in wages, promotions and opportunities. There are currently two cases pending – at least one plaintiff a party to both, one in state court the other in federal. The employment lawsuit filed in federal court is bound by arbitration, as an appellate panel recently ruled. However, the California state court claim is not subject to arbitration and reportedly asserts a cause of action under the Private Attorneys General Act. As Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyers can explain, PAGA, amended in 2016, allows employees to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees and the state for labor code violations as outlined in in California Labor Code Division 2, Part 13, Sections 2698-2699.6.gender discrimination

Defendant in this case argues the state lawsuit should be tossed because it “rehashes many of the claims made against defendant” by plaintiff in the earlier lawsuit” – namely retaliation after filing a complaint of discriminatory practices and policies that adversely affected female employees.

One plaintiff alleges that shortly after a former colleague’s discrimination lawsuit was filed in January 2018, her former employer, a defense-side labor and employment law firm, hired an investigator to conduct what she alleges was a “sham investigation” regarding a connection she had with one of her clients. The true purpose of that investigation, she asserts, was to find grounds to discredit and/or terminate her before she joined the first plaintiff’s lawsuit or else filed her own. Continue reading