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Employment Discrimination

Southern California Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Workers

When you go to work, you probably hope to be judged on your work performance. Both federal and state laws protect you against employment discrimination based on various characteristics. Unfortunately, in spite of the law, employers sometimes allow their biases to influence major employment decisions. If you were a victim of employment discrimination, you should consult the Los Angeles and Ventura County employment discrimination lawyers at the Knoll Law Group. Although our office is located in the Los Angeles and Ventura County area, our firm represents workers across California.

Employment Discrimination

Most of the federal laws that forbid employment discrimination are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These federal laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). In many cases, broader protection is afforded by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which applies to smaller employers that have at least five employees.

FEHA

Protected characteristics under FEHA include color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, denial of pregnancy disability leave, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, and age if you are 40 or above. Workplace discrimination can involve any adverse decision that affects an aspect of employment, including failure to hire, termination, failure to promote, demotion, disparate pay, or harassment. For example, if you are not promoted because you came out as gay, an employment discrimination attorney in Ventura County or Los Angeles can help you bring a claim under FEHA. Similarly, if you are not hired because you are Middle Eastern and Muslim, you may have claims of national origin, ancestry, and religious discrimination.

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are adjustments to the work environment or work policies to make it possible for a job applicant to apply for a job or for an employee to do his or her job. They can include modifications to work schedules, ergonomic office furniture, more frequent rest breaks, telecommuting, and reassignment to less strenuous tasks. Under FEHA, employers in California with at least five employees are required to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with mental or physical disabilities in connection with applying for jobs or performing essential job functions. For example, if you suffer from breast cancer, reasonable accommodations might include giving you an altered work schedule so that you can go to chemotherapy or radiation appointments during the workday. Employers need to provide a reasonable accommodation unless doing so would cause an undue hardship. Our Los Angeles and Ventura County employment discrimination attorneys can advise you on whether an accommodation is likely to be reasonable.

Employers are also required to provide accommodations for religious practices, beliefs, or observances. An employer is required to explore any available reasonable alternative way to accommodate a religious belief or observance, including the possibility of excusing an employee from duties that conflict with their religious belief or practice or allowing those duties to be performed at another time or by someone else. Under the state’s Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2012 (WRFA), “religion” includes all aspects of religious beliefs, observances, practices, and creeds, including religious dress and grooming practices.

Under WRFA, employers need to make reasonable accommodations for religious practices, including dress and grooming, unless this causes an undue hardship. An undue hardship under California law is understood to be a significant expense and hardship. For example, if you are Sikh and wear a turban, but ordinarily your employer does not permit head coverings in the workplace, you might ask for a reasonable accommodation so that you can wear your turban.

Retain a Skilled Employment Lawyer

Employment discrimination can trigger both economic and emotional consequences. If you were harmed by discrimination at your workplace, you should consult the Knoll Law Group. Call us at (800) 954-5459 or complete our online form to discuss your situation with an employment discrimination lawyer serving Ventura County and Los Angeles, as well as throughout California.

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