Areas of Practice
State and federal law make it illegal to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. These classifications are known as “protected classes,” because the law protects people from having employment decisions made for these reasons. A discrimination claim does not require termination, only that the action against the employee is an “adverse employment action” Therefore, a discrimination claim can involve a demotion, imposition of additional duties, or an unfavorable transfer.
You have the right to perform your job in a workplace free of discrimination. If you have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace, please contact me now.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) not only prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability, but also requires employers to provide, at their own expense, a “reasonable accommodation” for disabled employees. To be a “qualified individual” under the ADA, a person must be able to perform the essential functions of the position either with or without the reasonable accommodation. Often, employers find that it is simpler to remove the disabled employee from a position, rather than have the necessary discussion about how a workplace might accommodate an employee (this discussion is a legal requirement, called an “interactive process”). Don’t let your workplace off the hook when it comes to accommodations. contact me now.
Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims
A California employer may not retaliate against an employee for reporting illegal activity. To qualify for this protection, the employee must be reporting unlawful conduct that could harm the public. Courts have found that employees are protected for reporting embezzling, defrauding customers, workplace safety issues, and employment discrimination. Courts also protect employees when they refuse a boss or supervisor’s order to participate in unlawful conduct, such as refusal to lie to government inspectors and refusal to engage in illegal antiunion activity and discrimination. If you would like to discuss a whistleblower claim that implicates the protection of society at large, contact me now.
Most harassment cases are harassment on the basis of sex, but state and federal law also prohibit harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. All of these types of harassment are illegal when they result in a hostile work environment. In addition, sexual harassment has been found on a “quid pro quo” theory—in other words, when a reward or detriment is conditioned on an employee’s acceptance (or rejection) of unwelcome sexual conduct. Your employer may also be liable for failing to do enough to prevent this harassment from happening.
California has some of the strictest workplace harassment laws in the country. If you have been subject to harassment in the workplace, please contact me now.
Most California employees are “at will”—but one important exception is when employers fire an employee for a reason that “violates fundamental public policy.” A fundamental public policy is one that affects society at large, rather than an employee’s purely personal or financial interest. Therefore, courts have found wrongful termination when an employer fires an employee for reporting discrimination in the workplace, or refusing to sign illegal work agreements.
When you bring a wrongful termination claim, you take on the protection of the rights of all workers. If you’re ready to discuss this, please contact me now.