California Employment Discrimination
What Is Employment Discrimination in California?
In California, employers may not discriminate against employees based on race, religion, color, national origin, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation.
If you suspect discrimination, and report it, you cannot be fired or otherwise disciplined for that reason.
There are a number of exceptions to employment discrimination laws in California:
- Employers may start affirmative action programs designed to remedy the effects of past discrimination. Even if these programs take race into account when considering new hires, they are allowed under California law.
- Also, if a person’s membership in a protected class, by itself, makes them unable to do the job, this law does not apply.
- For example, if you have a disability which prevents you from doing the job, an employer may refuse to hire you. Or, if an employer is seeking people to model men’s clothing, they are not breaking the law if they refuse to hire women. In this case, women, by virtue of their sex, are not qualified to do the job.
In both cases, a person is excluded from a job because of their membership in a protected class. Even so, an employer always has the right to reject applicants who are not qualified for a job, no matter what it is that makes them unqualified.
What to Do If You Experience Employment Discrimination?
If you believe you have been discriminated in the hiring process or at work and are not part of any exception, than you can file a complaint. Depending on the circumstances, you may even have a strong legal claim. You must usually file a complaint within a specified period (6 months for California) after the discrimination.
If you are disciplined after filing a discrimination complaint, than you may have a legal case against the employer. It is best to get in touch with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer.
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Last Modified: 02-25-2014 10:15 AM PST
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