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Employees are a vital part of the economic infrastructure in California. As such, they are well protected through federal and state laws that ensure they have certain rights. These laws help regulate meal and rest breaks and overtime compensation and protect employees from workplace discrimination as the result of personal identifiers, such as religion, gender, gender identity, and more. Unfortunately, one of the most common forms of workplace discrimination comes as the result of an employee’s race. While forms of this discrimination may be unintentional, employees, regardless of race, have the right to work in an environment free of intentional and unintentional racial bias.
At Nosratilaw, A Professional Corporation, our employment attorneys know how frustrating and hurtful these actions and behaviors can be. Our employment lawyers work with you to ensure employers, coworkers, and those who choose to discriminate against you because of race are held accountable for their actions and behaviors.
Beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees have been protected from discrimination in the workplace based on personal identifiers. In the years since, the laws have increased those protections to ensure that employees remain protected. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act is one such law that helps to protect employees specifically from racial discrimination and harassment.
These protections apply to practices involving hiring, promoting, demoting, and terminating employees. Unfortunately, proving that an employee has been victimized by workplace racial discrimination is difficult. Incidents that an employee may feel are racially motivated are often masked behind other legal avenues. Documenting incidents and keeping a record of information can help in the investigation process.
In order to prove workplace discrimination in Lancaster, CA, it is imperative that you have specific examples of the behavior in question. It is not always as obvious as using racial epitaphs, telling racially based jokes, or a person coming right out and saying they do not like you because of your race. Workplace racial discrimination can result in an employee’s wrongful termination, being passed over for a promotion, or as a part of a refusal to hire. In these examples, along with others, it is difficult to ascertain the motivation, but there are some questions you can ask yourself to help, including:
These types of behaviors are considered discriminatory or retaliatory and may be illegal. However, employers may not even realize the pattern is emerging. If you feel you or a coworker is experiencing discrimination because of their race, there are steps you should take, including:
While it may be difficult to report examples of racial discrimination in the workplace for fear of retaliation or being accused yourself, it is an important step in ensuring your employer is held accountable and is treating their employees fairly and appropriately.
A: The most common damages sought in a workplace discrimination claim are lost wages or benefits that are a direct result of the violation. If, for example, you miss work because of the discriminatory behavior or are denied salary increases and bonuses as a result of reporting such violations, then you may be entitled to recover those damages. In some cases, you may be entitled to economic damages for emotional distress as well.
A: The California Fair Employment and Housing Act is the state-level protection provided to individuals in the workplace. It states that employees shall not be harassed or discriminated against because of personal identifiers such as age, race, religion, gender, gender identification, and more. Employers who violate these acts are not only subject to state penalties but may be required to compensate employees who are the target of the violation.
A: For most employment violations, the statute of limitations is three years from the time of infraction for any claims filed in state court under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. However, the statute of limitations is significantly less for federal filings to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, at just 300 days. Your attorney can help you navigate both processes, but it is important to speak to one as quickly as possible.
A: Working with your attorney, you will first file a formal complaint with your employer, who will have the opportunity to correct the violation. In the event this does not yield results, you will work with your attorney to file a claim with the Civil Rights Department or the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. After their initial investigation, you could then be provided a Right to Sue notification, which allows you to proceed with a civil suit.
Experiencing any type of discrimination in the workplace is not only frustrating but can make the work environment very difficult. Often, employees stay silent for fear of retaliation or thinking they will not be taken seriously. This can often lead to employees having to contend with potential hostile work environments. If you feel you or a coworker are a victim of workplace discrimination based on race, you should seek the help of skilled and experienced employment lawyers. Our team at Nosratilaw, A Professional Corporation, understands how distressing these types of experiences are and is ready to help you investigate and hold responsible those who may be at fault. Contact our offices today for a free consultation, and let us help protect your employment rights.