Practice Area

Canoga Park Race Discrimination Lawyer

Canoga Park Race Discrimination Lawyer

Canoga Park Race Discrimination Attorney

Both California and federal law offer a variety of protections for workers, and some of the most important are the protections against racial discrimination. Unfortunately, there are times when workers face racial discrimination in the workplace from their co-workers or supervisors. This could include harassment, not being hired or promoted, lesser compensation, or other workplace impacts. A Canoga Park race discrimination lawyer may be able to help victims of racial discrimination find a remedy for their situation.

At Bluestone Law, you can find a team of skilled attorneys dedicated to aggressively defending the rights of workers. We help those who’ve faced discrimination in the workplace seek justice and compensation.

Our clients benefit from our thorough understanding of their legal protections, our ability to navigate the legal processes responsible for enforcing those protections, and our experience in negotiating settlements that may avoid the time, expense, and risks of litigation. Workers who’ve faced racial discrimination can count on quality legal assistance from Bluestone Law.

Laws Protecting Workers from Racial Discrimination

There are a variety of different laws that offer protection against racial discrimination for workers. These laws exist at the federal level, and there are even more protections offered at the state level. Our team can help identify which legal avenue is the strongest route for seeking a remedy based on the particulars of your case. Some of the federal laws include:

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, Title VII of this act prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from making employment decisions on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, or religion. The act also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce these protections and provide a way for victims of this type of discrimination to file complaints.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991. This act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to expand and strengthen the safeguards against discrimination. Specifically, it expanded the legal remedies available to victims by including the ability to collect compensatory and punitive damages.

In addition to these federal protections, California also has additional protections and means of redress under its own laws, including:

  • The California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing enforces this law, which is the primary anti-discrimination law in California.

    It offers protections for employees against discrimination on the basis of a variety of characteristics, including race, national origin, color, and ancestry. It addresses a variety of forms of discrimination that could occur in the workplace, including hiring, termination, promotion, and workplace conditions.

  • California Labor Code Section 1102.5. While not specifically addressing race, this law offers protection against retaliation for those who have filed a complaint of discriminatory behavior.

    Workers who report discrimination in the workplace are protected from their employers holding their reports against them. Actions such as giving the employee worse scheduling and work assignments, reducing their compensation, or wrongfully terminating their employment in retaliation are prohibited.

Disparate Treatment or Disparate Impact

Employment laws, both federal and Californian, recognize that employees could be victims of two different forms of discrimination. These different forms of treatment will subtly alter the case that your lawyer will need to make with regard to discrimination and the proof that will be necessary to seek redress. The forms of discrimination are:

  • Disparate Treatment. This form of discrimination occurs when an employer or another employer treats someone differently because of their skin color. This is what occurs when someone passes over a candidate for hire on the basis of their race, even if they were otherwise qualified.

    It’s also the type of discrimination that occurs when other employees harass their co-workers on the basis of race. It’s important to note that disparate treatment requires a level of intent on the part of the employer or other employees, and it generally involves narrow instances of discrimination.

  • Disparate Impact. This kind of discrimination occurs when a particular company policy or way of operating leads to unintentional consequences that disproportionately have a negative impact on people of a particular race or protected group. These policies don’t explicitly try to create a disproportionate outcome and often appear neutral.

    However, the impact can still be considered discriminatory. This kind of discrimination does not require the action to be intentional and is generally broader in effect than disparate treatment.

    Disparate impact discrimination does have an added element of proof, which is that the policy creating the disparate impact must be shown to be unnecessary for business operations or unrelated to the job the work is involved with. If the policy can be shown to be crucial to the business, it will not be considered discrimination, even if it produces a disparate impact.

Forms of Racial Discrimination at Work

Racial discrimination in the workplace can take on a variety of different forms. It’s important to understand that some of this behavior, such as passing over certain candidates for promotion, is standard in the workplace. It will need to be shown that the behavior in question was a result of race being considered. Your lawyer will be able to help identify if that is the case in your situation. Some of the more common forms of racial discrimination at work include:

  • Discriminatory Hiring Practice. Not hiring someone because of their race is an illegal practice. This also extends to all parts of the hiring process, so refusing to interview qualified candidates on the basis of race may also be considered racial discrimination.
  • Preventing Promotion and Advancement. If qualified candidates for promotions and advancement within a business are passed on or denied on the basis of their race, this could be considered discrimination.
  • Wrongful Termination. Termination on the basis of race is prohibited.
  • Unfair Compensation. An employee’s pay, raises, and other forms of compensation should be based on their qualifications and on par with what others at the same level within the company receive.
  • Harassment. Treatment that is derogatory and creates a hostile work environment can be considered discrimination.
  • Unfair Discipline. When someone receives harsher discipline than those of a different race receive for the same conduct, this can be considered racial discrimination.
  • Denial or Exclusion from Opportunities. Race should never factor into the opportunities that an employer offers an employee. These include opportunities for networking, mentorship, training, workshops, and other career development and advancement opportunities.
  • Segregation. It’s important that employers don’t assign seating or other groupings of employees on the basis of the race of those involved.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is something that supervisors, co-workers, and even customers or clients could commit. The issue is treated slightly differently depending on the source of the harassment. It can also take on many forms and could include jokes and mockery, derogatory comments, and displaying offensive images, symbols, or objects so that the harassed individual will see them. It could also mean creating a hostile work environment or intimidating someone on the basis of their race.

When a supervisor is involved in the harassment of an employee, there is strict liability involved. This means that even if it is the first instance of discrimination occurring, the business may be held liable.

When the harassment is done by a co-worker or customer, the situation is handled differently. The harassment must first be brought to the attention of a supervisor or an anonymous internal phone line if one is available. The business needs to be aware of the harassment in some form. They will then have the opportunity to address the situation and make changes.

What the company does will depend on the circumstances, but it could be some form of discipline, such as moving the harasser’s job location, preventing them from displaying offensive material, or even termination of employment. If the behavior persists and the employer has failed to take appropriate action, then the employer may be liable.

What Does a Canoga Park Race Discrimination Lawyer Do?

A Canoga Park race discrimination lawyer can be a critical part of pursuing a fair remedy for any racial discrimination that you’ve experienced at work. When you bring your situation to an attorney, they will first examine the facts of the case to help you understand if you have a claim. They can also help you understand what kind of documentation you should gather regarding the incident in question.

Once they’ve identified that you have, indeed, suffered some form of racial discrimination, they can determine what the appropriate legal process is for your situation. They can help you prepare the proper forms and documentation and, as your representative, ensure that they are submitted to the proper agency. Your lawyer can continue representing you throughout the process and advocate for your position in any hearings or appeals that are necessary.

There are some cases, though, when it may not be necessary to go through with the full legal process, as a settlement may, instead, be reached. Your employment lawyer can represent you in these negotiations. If they can find a fair settlement agreement, this may be an effective way to avoid some of the downsides of pursuing a remedy through the legal process. For instance, that process will often take much longer and is riskier than reaching a settlement.

How Long Do You Have to File a Racial Discrimination Claim?

The time you have to file a claim against your employer will differ depending on the type of claim and where it will be filed. Generally, any claim that will be filed through the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing will need to be filed within one year of the incident in question.

If you are filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the deadline is just 300 days. It is worth noting, though, that these two departments have an agreement stating that filing a claim with one is considered having filed with the other, making it easier for employees to be certain they file on time.

Protection Against Retaliation

Many workers have concerns regarding filing a claim against their employer because of the possibility of retaliation. However, retaliation for filing a claim, whistleblowing, or participating in someone else’s complaint is prohibited. If an employer does this, it could result in them facing further fines and punishment beyond whatever the original complaint was meant to address.

Retaliation could take many different forms. One obvious form of retaliation would be if an employer were to fire an employee because they filed a racial discrimination claim. This would be considered wrongful termination and could also be considered harassment by the employer.

In some cases, retaliation could involve giving the employee worse schedules and work duties, not giving them earned raises, or preventing them from attaining promotions and other business opportunities. In some cases, an employer will try to make the work experience so unbearable for an employee that they quit. This also has the potential of being considered wrongful termination.

Bluestone Law Can Help if You’ve Faced Racial Discrimination at Work

Racial discrimination at work or anywhere else is unacceptable. The law protects workers from this type of discrimination, and those who have dealt with it at work have the opportunity for recourse. The specific route that may be an option for you will depend on the kind of discrimination you’ve faced. That’s why it’s important to find a trustworthy Canoga Park race discrimination lawyer who can help you understand your options.

At Bluestone Law, we help clients with all manner of employment issues, including those involving racial discrimination. The legal processes for addressing these violations can often be complicated and challenging. There is extensive paperwork and documentation required, and errors could lead to lengthy delays or your claim being rejected.

We represent our clients diligently and ensure the proper process is followed. If hearings are necessary, we put forth the strongest case on your behalf. We can also represent you in settlement negotiations if that route is a viable option. If you’ve faced racial discrimination at work, contact us today to discuss your options.