California Attorneys Representing Employees in the Social Assistance Services Field
Federal and state laws protect employees in both the public and private sector. In today’s workplace, employees are subjected to much unlawful conduct. For example, in the social assistance services field, such as programs administering welfare, adoptions, foster care, aid to the disabled, family crisis counseling, and subsistence to poor families, we have seen much discrimination and harassment related to the employees’ protected characteristics under state and federal law. Many employees who are minorities with certain races or colors are treated differently and have a difficult time retaining employment. What makes it even worse is that those same victims have a harder time finding employment after being laid off (whether unlawfully or lawfully).
Over the years, we have seen employers with arbitrary rules. Rules that subject certain races, ethnicities, nationalities, or genders to discrimination. Our law firm and co-counsel have battled employers on these and has won. Stephen Danz and Associates is a law firm dedicated to representing employees in the social assistance industry – whether they are employed by MediCal, CalFresh, CalWorks, United Ways of California, or the California Department of Social Services. Our law firm attorneys and support staff are a powerful legal team on your side.
We even the field when it comes to taking on the large employers and their defense counsels. California’s social assistance field is diverse and complex. It is also one of the largest industries in the United States. Accordingly, employees who face discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination or related employer prohibited activity in this field, should seek the help of competent and knowledgeable California employment lawyers. The attorney you trust should have the experience and fortitude to stand against the largest defense firms, and not be concerned about litigation.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace based on protected characteristics specified in the statute. The FEHA also prohibits unlawful conduct based on the perception that an employee or applicant has a protected characteristic (even if they do not have one). At the same time, it is unlawful for an employer to take adverse action based on an employee’s or applicant’s association with another person (for example, a spouse) who has or is perceived to have a protected characteristic. Although the FEHA protected characteristics have specific definitions, courts sometimes struggle with the overlap between the different categories. To help our clients understand the different protected characteristics under the FEHA and related prohibited conduct, we will cover below the definitions of the protected classes or characteristics, which are further detailed in the regulations, and the types of conduct expressly prohibited by the FEHA statute and regulations.
What does the Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibit?
FEHA prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex (including: pregnancy; childbirth; or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breast feeding), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 or older), sexual orientation, military and veteran status.
In California, How is an Employee’s Race Protected?
California state courts often look at FEHA and Title VII to understand the definition of race in employment law cases. In the Title VII context, race refers to an individual’s personal characteristics associated with a certain race, such as skin color, hair texture, and certain facial features. In addition, courts define “race” as a characteristic that predominantly impacts one race. For example, at least one court found that employees had a legitimate claim under Title VII against an employer that tested black employees for the sickle cell trait.
In California, How is an Employee’s Color Protected?
Color may overlap with race, but specifically refers to an individual’s pigmentation, skin shade, skin tone, or complexion. For example, discriminating against an African-American because of that specific characteristic is race discrimination. However, a dark-skinned African-American that discriminates against a light-skinned African-American because of skin tone differences is color discrimination.
If you have any questions about race or color discrimination, or any other protected characteristic, please call us or complete our quick intake form. Our leadership has practiced law in California for five decades. Accordingly, the experience, resources, and years of litigation prepared us to fight for your legal rights in California’s state and federal courts. The team focuses only on employment law and therefore can provide clients with maximum compensation and most favorable results. This is critical as employment laws constantly change – whether it is the types of charges, defenses, deadlines, or court rules. Trust our team for its transparency, knowledge and constant communication.