Walnut Creek Employee Discrimination & Harassment Lawyer
Discrimination and harassment are words we use in everyday language. But in the context of employment law, they have very specific meanings. Employment discrimination and workplace harassment refer to illegal acts committed by employers against employees. These acts are also referred to as civil rights violations.
At Venardi Zurada, LLP, our Walnut Creek employee discrimination and harassment lawyers assist clients who have been subject to these sorts of workplace civil rights violations. Federal and California state law provide a number of remedies to address these situations. If necessary, we are prepared to seek out those remedies on your behalf in court.
What Is Employment Discrimination?
Broadly speaking, discrimination is when someone is treated differently or less favorably for some reason. Not all workplace discrimination is per se illegal. Instead, the law identifies certain protected characteristics or groups. Discrimination on the basis of such a characteristic or membership in that group is against the law. This includes discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, gender expression, race, color, age (if you are 40 or older), national origin, religion, disability, pregnancy, or genetic information.
As for what qualifies as a discriminatory act, the obvious ones include firing or refusing to hire someone based on their protected status. But discrimination also encompasses any disparate workplace treatment, such as compensation, benefits, promotions, or work assignments. Basically, if your employer is singling you out for adverse treatment based on your protected status, that is employment discrimination.
What Is Workplace Harassment?
From a legal standpoint, harassment is simply one form of illegal employment discrimination. It is defined as any unwelcome conduct based on a protected characteristic or status. Harassment is considered unlawful when a person is forced to endure the offensive conduct as a condition of their continued employment, or the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a “hostile work environment.”
What Are My Remedies for Employment Discrimination or Harassment?
If you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination or harassment, your first step is to file a formal complaint with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Both agencies have the power to authority to conduct initial investigations into employee complaints. If the relevant agency decides to close an investigation without taking formal action, you then have the right as the affected employee to file your own lawsuit against the employer.
A successful employment discrimination or harassment claim can mean the employer is required to compensate you for your economic losses and suffering arising from the illegal activities. If you would like to learn more about this process and how it could help you, contact the Walnut Creek employee discrimination and harassment lawyers at Venardi Zurada, LLP, today to schedule a consultation. There is no charge to speak with us, and in fact you will not have to pay any legal fees or costs unless we agree to take your case and win monetary compensation on your behalf.