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How to Recognize and File a Workplace Discrimination Complaint

Discrimination has no place in the workplace. Yet claims of disability, sex, race and age discrimination continue to skyrocket.

If an employer or prospective employer has treated you unfairly, it is important to understand that you have rights. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discrimination and harassment in employment based on your actual or perceived:

  • Race, skin color, national origin, or ancestry
  • Age
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Genetic information
  • Gender, gender identity and gender expression
  • Marital status
  • Medical condition
  • Religion
  • Sex, including pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding
  • Sexual orientation

Workers can also elect to file federal discrimination charges under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, protected classes are limited to race, color, national origin, religion, sex
and pregnancy.

To constitute unlawful employment discrimination under state or federal law, the employer’s discriminatory conduct must affect a term, condition, or privilege of your employment. Examples include refusing to hire a job applicant, terminating an employee, or offering different
compensation due to your membership in a protected class.

To initiate a discrimination charge, you must file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Complaints of discrimination must generally be filed with the agency within one year from the date of the alleged discriminatory act.

Once you file a charge of discrimination, your employer cannot retaliate against you. This means that your employer cannot terminate, demote, suspend or discipline you without a legitimate reason that is unrelated to your discrimination allegations.

Successful claimants are eligible to receive pay for lost wages, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys fees and costs. To discuss your case, contact the experienced San Francisco Bay area employment lawyers of Law Offices of John E. Hill, a Professional Corporation

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