Discrimination Law

It is illegal for an employer in California to discriminate against employees based on

  • Age (over 40 years old)
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy Status

To sustain a claim for discrimination, you must:

  • be in a protected category,
  • have suffered an adverse employment action,
  • and be treated differently from other employees similarly situated employees.

There is rarely “smoking gun” evidence in discrimination cases, so circumstantial evidence will usually suffice.

Protected Category:
To qualify to be in a protect category, you must be discriminated on the basis of an inalienable quality, like race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or age.

Adverse Employment Action:
This usually means getting fired, but it could also mean not getting hired, being demoted, or having your wages lowered.

Treated Differently than Others Similarly Situated:
Finally, to sustain a claim for discrimination, you must show that other employees or applicants that are not in the protected category are treated differently. A common example is when a female employee is passed over for a job promotion but the similarly qualified male employee gets the promotion.