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Santa Monica Workplace Discrimination Attorney

Dedicated Employment Discrimination Lawyers Serving Santa Monica, CA

Employees are protected by both state and federal laws, yet employers often disregard these protections, inflicting significant financial and emotional strain. If you’ve encountered such injustice, you understand the uphill battle of addressing it alone. Fortunately, our dedicated attorneys stand ready to aid you in tackling issues like workplace discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation. For a complimentary case evaluation with our Santa Monica employment discrimination attorney, contact our office today at (510) 200-0162 or connect with us online.

Workplace Discrimination

Santa Monica Workplace Discrimination AttorneyNumerous laws at both the federal and state levels shield employees from various forms of discrimination. Below are different types of discrimination that can transpire in any work environment:

Age Discrimination – Some employers may lean towards dismissing older employees in favor of younger individuals accepting lower salaries. However, all employees aged 40 or above have protection from employment decisions or harassment predicated on age.

Sex Discrimination – Sex discrimination can violate California and federal laws in several ways, encompassing disparate pay between genders for comparable work, adverse employment actions stemming from pregnancy or childbirth, and refusal to hire or promote individuals based on sex. These laws extend to men facing sex discrimination as well.
Additionally, California law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Racial Discrimination – Both state and federal laws prohibit employment discrimination based on race. Notably, racial discrimination may manifest through overt racist remarks or biased employment decisions, such as failure to hire qualified candidates, bypassing individuals for promotion, or unequal pay.

Religious Discrimination – Discrimination based on religion is similarly proscribed by state and federal law. Employers are mandated to provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious practices, which may encompass dress code exceptions or flexible scheduling for religious observances.

Disability Discrimination – The law defends the employment rights of individuals with actual or perceived disabilities. Employers are prohibited from treating someone unfairly due to a disability or basing employment decisions on disability status. Additionally, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform their job duties.

Identifying instances of employment discrimination can be challenging as employers seldom explicitly state discriminatory reasons. Instead, they may offer purported employment issues like poor performance or attendance to justify adverse employment actions. When employers utilize false justifications to conceal discriminatory motives, these are termed “pretextual” reasons. Our Santa Monica workplace discrimination attorney can help discern the details of your case.

Establishing Employment Discrimination

Whether you’re currently employed, a former employee, or seeking employment, you may have legal grounds to take action against a discriminatory employer. Our firm has handled cases involving various forms of discrimination, including:

  • Disparate Treatment: Occurs when an employer treats an employee unfavorably compared to others based on a prohibited discriminatory factor.
  • Retaliation: Involves unfair treatment by an employer towards an employee who opposed discriminatory practices.
  • Disparate Impact: Arises when an employment practice has an adverse effect on a protected class of employees.
  • Systemic Disparate Treatment: Demonstrates a class-wide statistical difference between protected class members and members of a similarly qualified majority group.

Proving pretext can be challenging, but our skilled Santa Monica employment discrimination law attorneys can gather evidence revealing when an employer acted for impermissible reasons. We employ numerous methods for gathering evidence to refute the reasons provided for an employment action. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of employment discrimination justified by false reasons, it’s crucial to discuss your case with an attorney promptly.

Our legal team assists clients in gathering relevant evidence to demonstrate discriminatory practices. We challenge the employer’s assertions and establish the adverse impacts our clients have endured. Depending on your case’s unique circumstances, we may be able to help you recover damages, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and possibly punitive damages.

Workplace Sexual Harassment

One prevalent form of sex discrimination is sexual harassment, which is illegal and constitutes a significant form of misconduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment includes a spectrum of behaviors, ranging from sexual comments or jokes to unwelcome advances and even sexual assault. Unlawful sexual harassment generally falls into two main categories:
Quid pro quo: This occurs when a supervisor or individual with authority conditions aspects of your employment on satisfying sexual demands. It can involve either offering rewards for sexual favors or threatening adverse consequences if you refuse sexual advances.
Hostile work environment: This type of harassment involves sexually offensive comments, jokes, advances, imagery, or other communications that, when pervasive or severe, create a hostile work environment.

Identifying instances of sexual harassment can be challenging for victims. If you feel uncomfortable or offended by any behavior in your workplace, it’s essential to consult with our experienced Santa Monica employment discrimination attorney to evaluate your rights.

Safeguards for Whistleblowers

In workplaces, employees may come across instances of wrongdoing, ranging from unethical behavior to legal violations, fraud, or breaches of health and safety regulations. When employees feel compelled to report such misconduct but fear potential retaliation, whistleblower protections serve as a vital safeguard.

Whistleblower laws shield employees who disclose wrongdoing from adverse actions by their employers, including harassment, demotion, refusal of promotion, termination, or similar employment actions. If your employment is adversely affected due to reporting misconduct, you have the right to seek compensation and reinstatement. Before taking any action, such as blowing the whistle on your employer, it’s prudent to seek counsel from an employment law firm. In California, employees are protected from retaliation for reporting violations of the law to their employer, even without involving external agencies.

Wage and Hour Violations

State and federal regulations dictate how employees are compensated, encompassing minimum hourly wages, overtime pay criteria, meal and rest break mandates, and more. California’s laws typically afford employees greater wage and hour rights compared to federal statutes. For instance, California mandates a substantially higher minimum wage statewide than the federal standard, with some cities imposing even higher thresholds.

Employers can try to bypass wage and hour laws through various means, including:

  • Failing to pay the mandated minimum hourly wage.
  • Incorrectly calculating hours or failing to compensate for all hours worked.
  • Neglecting to provide proper overtime compensation.
  • Misclassifying individuals as exempt from overtime pay.
  • Depriving employees of required meal or rest breaks.
  • Delaying paychecks issuance.
  • Making unjustified deductions from paychecks.
  • Illegally withholding tips from tipped employees.

Such violations can lead to significant financial losses for employees. Those who suffer such losses due to wage and hour violations may have grounds to pursue legal action and obtain rightful compensation.

Another prevalent violation of wage and hour laws involves misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Unlike employees, independent contractors lack the same legal protections. Consequently, employers may seek to designate individuals as independent contractors to circumvent compliance with wage and hour laws, tax obligations, discrimination statutes, and more.
However, employers do not have unilateral authority to determine independent contractor status. The law employs specific criteria to establish this classification, which closely aligns with the particulars of the employment arrangement. If you suspect misclassification as an independent contractor and have suffered financial losses as a result, we encourage you to contact our Santa Monica workplace discrimination attorney for a case assessment today.

Illegal Retaliation

Federal and state laws play a critical role in defending workers’ rights, ensuring they can assert their rights without facing retaliation from their employers. It’s essential for employees to feel confident in reporting unlawful employer behavior or participating in investigations to uncover misconduct. Employers are explicitly prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under a range of laws, including the National Labor Relations Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and various state laws such as California’s Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) statutes.

Retaliatory actions can manifest in various forms, including:

  • Disciplinary measures
  • Denial of pay raises
  • Refusal of promotions
  • Harassment
  • Demotion
  • Termination
  • Assignment to less favorable work duties

Moreover, in California, retaliation may encompass a broader pattern of retaliatory conduct that doesn’t neatly fit into any specific category.

If you’ve experienced ANY adverse employment action and believe it was in retaliation for exercising your rights, it’s imperative to promptly discuss the matter with a member of our legal team.

Winer, Burritt, & Scott Can Provide Assistance

Challenging an employer can be intimidating for individuals, and fear of repercussions often prevents people from asserting their rights under federal and state employment laws. However, assistance is available, and you don’t have to confront your employer alone. Employment laws are complex and continuously evolving, making it challenging to fully grasp your rights or recognize violations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office to learn how we can support you.

Contact Us Today to Consult Our Santa Monica Workplace Discrimination Attorney

Employees possess significant rights under state and federal law. Unfortunately, employers frequently fail to provide employees with the protections they deserve. At Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, we bring over 60 years of combined experience and have secured over $200 million on behalf of our clients. With a proven track record and legal expertise, our clients can trust us to pursue the most favorable resolution for their employment case within the bounds of the law. We are dedicated to upholding employees’ rights and holding employers accountable for their legal obligations.

To arrange a free case evaluation with a Santa Monica workplace discrimination lawyer, contact our office today at (510) 200-0162 or submit an inquiry through our online contact form.

If You Are Wronged, We Will Make It Right. Schedule A Free Confidential Consultation At Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, we empower our clients. We take on the largest law firms, toughest insurance defense lawyers and largest companies with confidence. * Bold text labels are required for submission | We practice in California only.

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