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Employment Law & Litigation

Employment Discrimination

When Is Discrimination Illegal?

In California, all employees are protected from discrimination and harassment based on any of the following protected categories:

  • Race, color, national origin, or ethnicity,

  • Age,

  • Religion,

  • Marital status,

  • Pregnancy or family leave status (FMLA and CFRA),

  • Gender, gender identity, or gender expression,

  • Sexual orientation,

  • Physical or mental disability, medical condition, or genetic information, or

  • Military or veteran status;

If, on the basis of one of the protected categories above, you were denied a promotion, an offer of employment, a training program, or any other compensation or benefits, then you may have a claim for discrimination.  Discrimination also includes harassment, such as derogatory remarks, jokes, comments, emails, photos, or social media posts, based on any of the above categories.

Termination Is Not Required

A common misconception is that an employee must be fired before he or she will have a case for discrimination.  Fortunately, that is not true.  The law prohibits discrimination at all stages of employment -- from the first interview to the last day of work, and every day in between.  In other words, you do not have to be fired before you can assert a claim for discrimination.

Discrimination Laws Apply to Everyone in the Workplace -- Not Just Your Manager or Supervisor

Another misconception is that only managers or supervisors are prohibited from employment discrimination.  Again, that is not true.  Discrimination can come from anyone in the workplace, whether it is a manager, a coworker, or even a non-employee who is present at the job site.  Employers have a duty to keep the workplace free of unlawful discrimination, and their failure to do so may constitute the creation of a discriminatory hostile work environment.

Contact a San Diego Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today


Contact the Law Office of Zachary S. Schumacher to learn more about your rights and remedies under the law.  The initial consultation is always free and will remain confidential.  Many of our cases can be handled for little or no cost upfront, and we regularly take cases on a contingency basis, which means we get our attorney's fees as a percentage of the recovery when we win the case at trial or settlement.  




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