Discrimination in Employment
Employment Discrimination is illegal under both California law and Federal law.
Employment discrimination consists of adverse employment actions (i.e., termination, denial of employment, denial of promotion, suspension.) that are motivated by the employee’s actual or perceived protected characteristic (race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, or military and veteran status; or because of association with any of those protected characteristics).
Harassment/Hostile Work Environment
Workplace harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct that is directed at an employee because of an employee’s protected characteristic (race, age, sexual orientation, etc.). “Hostile work environment” harassment can take form when the presence of demeaning comments, slurs, pictures, jokes, threats, or overall atmosphere is so severe or pervasive as to create an intimidating and offensive work environment.
Retaliation refers to a prohibited employment action (e.g., termination or discipline, etc.) taken against an employee as a result of a his or her participation in a legally protected activity. These legally protected activities include:
- Complaining about discrimination
- Filing a discrimination lawsuit
- Giving testimony in a discrimination lawsuit
- Making a discrimination complaint
- Refusing to participate in discrimination
- Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation for Disability