Defend Your Rights with an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

Is your employer discriminating against you because of your gender, religion, sexual orientation, or age? If you’re experiencing discrimination at work, you’re likely feeling frustrated, angry, and alone. You probably want justice for the way your employer treats you, but you’re not sure where to turn.

An employment discrimination lawyer from Kent | Pincin can help. Our attorneys fight back against unfair workplace treatment and will work hard to seek justice on your behalf. Call us at (310) 376-0922 for your free consultation with an experienced attorney now.

Types of Unlawful Discrimination

Many of our clients are unsure whether their employer or co-workers are unlawfully discriminating against them. For discrimination to count as “unlawful,” it must be targeted against a legally protected class of people.

If your employer treats everyone in the office poorly, that is upsetting but not illegal. However, if your employer targets employees of a certain race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, their actions are against the law.

Examples of unlawful discrimination include:

  • Firing you upon finding out that you’re pregnant
  • Denying promotions for women
  • Making racially insensitive jokes
  • Refusing to make accommodations for your disability
  • Not allowing you to use the restroom that matches your gender identity

What Are Common Categories of Workplace Discrimination?

Unlawful workplace discrimination comes in many forms. We explain a few common types of workplace discrimination below.

Age Discrimination

In the U.S., it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against people aged 40 and up. If an employer refuses to hire you or demotes you to a lower-paying role because of your age, you may have a case against them for age discrimination.

Gender or Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination is, unfortunately, incredibly common in the workplace, especially for women working in male-dominated industries such as construction, finance, and information technology. An employer can commit gender discrimination by:

  • Refusing to hire women for certain roles despite their qualifications
  • Denying young women promotions for fear that they might want to start a family
  • Only allowing a certain gender to work in public-facing roles

Gender discrimination also affects transgender or gender nonconforming people. An employer can be liable if co-workers create a hostile environment for employees who are undergoing a gender transition or who otherwise identify as transgender. Similarly, your boss may not refuse to allow you to use the restroom associated with your gender identity or refuse to address you by the name and pronouns which correspond with your gender.

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination involves discriminating against people based on the color of their skin, their race, or their ethnic origin. This type of discrimination can feel very isolating and overwhelming.

Examples of racial discrimination include:

  • Emailing rude “jokes” about people of a certain race to everyone in the office
  • Giving undesirable shifts to employees of a certain ethnic origin
  • Not allowing employees to interact with customers because of their skin color
  • Referring to an employee with a racially derogatory slur or name

Religious Discrimination

Does your employer punish you for requesting days off to attend religious services? Do they forbid you from wearing religious clothing in front of clients? If so, they may be discriminating against you on the basis of your religion.

Religious discrimination can also affect non-believers. Your boss cannot force you to attend worship services as a condition of employment or treat you poorly just because you don’t follow the same religion as them.

Whistleblowing Retaliation

If you spot your employer doing something illegal and report it, it is against the law for them to retaliate against you. Likewise, if you make a report because your employer asked you to do something illegal, such as fudging the numbers on their taxes, they cannot retaliate against you. Our discrimination lawyers have assisted in obtaining millions of dollars on behalf of clients who have suffered retaliation for reporting unlawful conduct in the workplace.

Disability Discrimination

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who have a physical or mental impairment. Examples of disability discrimination may include refusing to hire employees who use a wheelchair, terminating an employee for disclosing a mental health disorder, or demoting an employee because he sought medical leave for a disability.

Similarly, employers are legally required to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. If, due to a disability, you’ve requested screen reading software or a special chair that makes sitting easier, but your employer denies the request, you may have a case against them for disability discrimination.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Sexual orientation has no impact on work performance, but some employers discriminate against gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees regardless. Such discrimination may include making derogatory remarks, giving you less desirable shifts, or denying you health insurance benefits.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Legally, employers cannot refuse to hire a woman just because she’s pregnant or might soon plan to start a family. If you become pregnant while working for your employer and they treat you poorly as soon as you start showing signs of pregnancy, they may have discriminated against you; likewise, if your employer fires you upon finding out about your pregnancy despite glowing performance reviews, that may be actionable discrimination.

FMLA Discrimination

The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles employees of covered employers to take job-protected unpaid leave without the fear of losing their group health insurance coverage. FMLA applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.

Under the law, employees are entitled to take 12 weeks of leave per 12-month period for:

  • The birth of a child and care of their newborn
  • Care of an adopted or foster child (within one year of placement)
  • A serious health issue that makes it impossible to perform their job
  • Care of a parent, child, or spouse with a serious health condition

Employers are prohibited from:

  • Discouraging you from taking leave
  • Refusing to grant FMLA requests if you are qualified for the leave
  • Counting leave under “no-fault” attendance policies
  • Manipulating your work hours to avoid providing FMLA leave
  • Using your FMLA request as a factor in firing, hiring, or disciplinary actions

What Laws Protect Employees From Discrimination?

In the U.S., several laws protect employees from discrimination. One of these is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination against people who are 40 and up. Others include:

  • California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act: This law prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and housing.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act: This law makes it illegal to discriminate against women based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to either.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: This law prohibits discrimination against employees based on their race, skin color, gender, or national origin. It also prohibits retaliation for filing a complaint about discrimination.
  • Americans With Disabilities Act: This law prohibits discrimination against qualified persons with a disability.
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963: This law makes it illegal to pay women and men different wages if they perform equal work in the same workplace.

What Laws Protect Employees From Discrimination?

Even if you know without a doubt that your employer is discriminating against you, workplace discrimination can be difficult to prove. Your lawyer can help you build your case with certain types of evidence, including, for example:

  • Direct evidence: Direct evidence is preferable because it clearly proves discrimination. If your employer admits to you, verbally or in writing, that they are discriminating against people of a certain age, gender, race, or religion, this can serve as direct evidence. As you might expect, such evidence is quite rare.
  • Circumstantial evidence: Also called indirect evidence, circumstantial evidence requires a fact-finder to make a presumption or inference. In other words, this evidence doesn’t directly prove discrimination but strongly suggests it. Examples could include firing an employee a week after announcing their pregnancy or a track record of making inappropriate remarks to people of a certain race.
  • Statistical evidence: Statistics often make for good supporting evidence in cases where discrimination isn’t clear-cut. Even if an employer’s actions don’t appear outright discriminatory, your lawyer can try to use statistical evidence to show that their actions suggest a pattern of discrimination.

Filing a Claim in a Workplace Discrimination Case

Before you can file a lawsuit for unlawful discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Civil Rights Department (previously, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing) requires that you obtain a right to sue notice from the Department. Generally speaking, you have 3 years from the date of the last act of discrimination to file a claim with the CRD.

Before you can file a lawsuit for discrimination under federal law, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission typically requires you to make a complaint; you have 180 days from the date of the discrimination to file a charge with the EEOC. The deadline is extended to 300 days if a local or state agency enforces a law that prohibits discrimination on the same basis.

Why Do You Need a Workplace Discrimination Lawyer?

When you first meet with an employment discrimination lawyer, they will go over the strengths and weaknesses of your case to assess the likelihood of winning. They will also explain the amount of damages you might recover if your case prevails.

Gather Evidence That Supports Your Case

Collecting evidence that proves discrimination can be challenging, especially if your employer has terminated you. You may no longer have access to your company email or other relevant documents, which makes evidence gathering difficult.t.
A good employment discrimination lawyer can overcome such barriers to collect the evidence necessary to win your case.

Meet Our Attorneys

Michael J. Kent & Emily R. Pincin

Michael Kent was inspired to become an attorney by his passion for piecing together puzzles and information in his younger years. He loves nothing more than analyzing cases to piece together evidence and find out what a defendant is hiding, to obtain a positive outcome. Michael’s father, as well as his in-laws, are attorneys who have provided valuable mentorship and guidance relating to the civil justice system.

“I want to help people piece their lives back together and move forward. They deserve to be given a voice and feel protected whatever the circumstances.”

Emily Pincin was motivated to become an attorney by her affection for reading, writing, and understanding the intricacies of the law. Raised in a household with a court reporter mother, Emily familiarized herself with the justice system and became passionate about helping others through their most difficult times.

“Everything about what we do really comes down to helping the client feel that they can achieve a feeling of justification and peace. We are working to help them attain a sense of vindication.”

Emily and Michael

How To Choose the Right Employment Discrimination Attorney

Employment discrimination cases are a serious matter, and you need an attorney who’s tough enough to go up against even the largest employers and come out victorious. Not all attorneys are up to this challenge, so you’ll need to do in-depth research to choose the right one for you. Here’s what to look for.

The Attorney’s Background

You wouldn’t hire a tax attorney to help with a personal injury case, would you? Of course not. You need an attorney who has specific experience handling employment discrimination cases in California.

Our attorneys have a combined years of experience representing employment discrimination victims, and our results speak for themselves.

Attorney Fees

Employment discrimination cases are a serious matter, and you need an attorney who’s tough enough to go up against even the largest employers and come out victorious. Not all attorneys are up to this challenge, so you’ll need to do in-depth research to choose the right one for you. Here’s what to look for.

Client Testimonials

Just as you’d consider reviews when choosing a restaurant or buying a new car, so too should you prioritize attorneys with a long list of favorable client testimonials. When reading testimonials, consider:

  • Does the lawyer truly seem to care about clients and the outcome of their cases?
  • Is the attorney willing to fight aggressively in court if need be?
  • How does the attorney handle communication? Do they keep clients apprised of changes to their case or leave them in the dark?
  • Does the attorney charge fair rates, or do they nickel and dime clients for the little things?

What Damages Are Available in a Workplace Discrimination Lawsuit in California?

Remedies for employment discrimination depend on the discriminatory action and the effect it had on you. For example, if your employer fired you because of your gender identity, you may be entitled to lost wages and noneconomic damages.

Remedies may also include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include your out-of-pocket expenses related to the discrimination. If you had to spend money training for a new job after your employer unlawfully fired you, for instance, the court may award damages for your training or tuition costs.

Punitive damages are relatively rare. The court may order them in cases of flagrant discrimination or malicious actions.

You may also be entitled to collect compensation for emotional distress, which includes the emotional pain and suffering your employer’s discrimination caused you. Damages can cover harms such as:

  • Reputational harm
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Diagnosed psychiatric conditions, such as depression and anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Strained relationships with friends and family

Depending on your case, you may also be able to recover damages for court costs, witness fees, and attorney’s fees.

How Much Compensation Will I Receive for a Discrimination Case?

It is difficult to say how much your settlement or award might be for a discrimination case. All cases are different, so you’ll need to speak with an employment discrimination attorney for a better idea of compensation.

If your employer retaliates against you for making a discrimination complaint, your compensation could be far higher. Our firm has achieved the following settlements for retaliation cases:

  • $924,000: Retaliation for reporting discrimination
  • $1,450,000: Retaliation for reporting violations of law
  • $1,650,000: Retaliation for reporting illegal conduct

Click here to view more results that we’ve achieved for our clients.

Caring for our Clients

Why Hire Our Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyers?

At Kent | Pincin, our attorneys take employment discrimination very seriously. We believe that every employee should have the right to work without fear of discrimination, abuse, threats, or retaliation.

Our attorneys will fight hard to achieve fair compensation for discrimination-related damages. To request a consultation with an employment discrimination lawyer, call us at (310) 376-0922 or fill out this form to receive your free case consultation.

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