Ventura Discrimination Lawyer
Dedicated Ventura Discrimination Attorney Helping California Employees Fight Back Against Discrimination In The Workplace
Prejudice is an unfortunate aspect of our society. We take pride in the strides we have made to allow individuals to advance in the workplace based on their individual merits, not their membership in a specific group.
But no matter how hard we try as a society, there are individuals who are denied an equal opportunity at work because of the color of their skin, what religious group they choose to join, or where their ancestors are from. Hardworking and well-qualified individuals are denied promotions, fired or mistreated for something they have no control over or something that has nothing to do with their job.
This is wrong and is largely illegal. But that doesn’t stop people from continuing to discriminate against coworkers or job applicants. If this has happened to you, you may want to consider talking with a Ventura discrimination lawyer. You may have a variety of legal rights and remedies available to you to ensure fair treatment and compensate you for any damages you may have endured.
Types of Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination is not inherently illegal. Only discrimination of those who are members of a protected class is illegal. Examples of protected classes include:
- National Origin
- Genetic information
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
Discrimination on the basis of one or more of these characteristics is prohibited by a variety of federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Being a member of a protected class is very important because without it, the discrimination is not illegal. For example, discrimination on the basis of athletic rooting interests is perfectly legal.
Imagine you apply for a job and during the job interview, you’re asked who you were pulling fo
in the last Super Bowl. As you give your honest answer, you see your interviewer’s smile change into a scowl and the next thing you know, he or she is showing you the door and you never get the job offer.
You’re confident you were denied the job because of who you rooted for in the last Super Bowl. Is what happened to you wrong? Yes, but is it illegal? No, because being a fan of a particular sports team does make you a part of a protected class.
Identifying whether the discrimination you’ve encountered at work is on the basis of your membership in a protected class is something a Ventura discrimination lawyer can help you with. They can also help you figure out ways to prove discrimination, which is often the single most challenging aspects of obtaining legal relief from workplace discrimination. Many employers are good at making up fake reasons for hiding the real reasons for their discriminatory conduct.
Why It’s Important to Report Workplace Discrimination
If you’re the victim of employment discrimination, you need to report it. Reporting the discrimination is very important for several reasons.
First, reporting the discrimination may fix the problem. Maybe that promotion you couldn’t get because of your age or disability is now possible as a result of your complaint to human resources. Or perhaps the racist jokes your coworkers kept on making finally come to an end. In some cases, reporting the problem will make it go away.
Second, even if reporting the discrimination changes nothing, it’s an important step for further legal action. In many employment discrimination lawsuits, employers can escape liability if they can show that the employee failed to properly follow office discrimination reporting procedures. The reasoning is that an employer shouldn’t be liable for misbehavior it didn’t know about. There are exceptions to this rule, but victims of workplace discrimination shouldn’t take their chances in court hoping one of the exceptions will apply.
Third, reporting the discrimination can provide an additional legal remedy for the victim. One of the biggest fears of reporting discrimination at work is the potential for retaliation. Retaliation occurs when an employee suffers from an adverse employment action for exercising a legal right.
An adverse employment action includes actions such as getting fired, demoted, receiving lower pay or suffering from disciplinary action. A legal right refers to an activity the law provides for, such as reporting workplace discrimination through a company’s discrimination reporting procedure or to an appropriate government agency.
As long as the victim of discrimination reports it in good faith, he or she is protected from retaliation. Should retaliation occur, it will usually create its own legal cause of action, even if a court concludes that there was no underlying discrimination in the first place.
What to Do If You Are the Victim of Workplace Discrimination
The first thing you should do is keep a record of every instance of discrimination you have faced at work. You should keep track of what happened, when it happened and who was involved. Also, keep track of anyone else who can serve as a witness in support of your claim of discrimination. Should you decide to bring a lawsuit or report the discrimination to your designated person at work, the California Equal Rights Commission or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, your records will be invaluable.
You should also consult with a Ventura discrimination lawyer. Discrimination law is complex, with a variety of state, local and federal laws in play. As a result, there are a number of rules, remedies and legal hoops you may need to jump through to obtain legal relief. Most attorneys provide these consultations for free to help you understand what your legal rights are and what actions, if any, you may need to take.
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