Employment Attorneys Advocating for the Rights of Los Angeles Workers
Sex and gender discrimination are prohibited in California workplaces under both federal and state laws. Sex refers to biological differences, while gender refers to cultural implications attached to sex. Often, employers make decisions based on physical or biological differences as well as stereotypes about gender. If you are subjected to sex or gender discrimination or harassment in your workplace, you should consult the Los Angeles sex discrimination lawyers at the Nourmand Law Firm about the possibility of bringing a lawsuit.
Sex and Gender Discrimination and Harassment Under State and Federal Laws
The California Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) is the state law prohibiting sex and gender discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the federal law prohibiting it. FEHA applies to employers that have at least five employees, whereas Title VII applies to those with at least 15 employees.
Under FEHA, it is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you due to your sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression. Discrimination can take many forms, including termination, refusing to hire, failing to promote, failing to provide training or mentorship that others received, harassment, or paying less for equal work.
There are some limited exceptions to the prohibition against sex discrimination. When an employer is able to show that sex or gender is a bona fide occupational qualification under the California Code of Regulations, it may have a strong defense. To successfully raise the defense, the employer must show that a practice is justified because all or most of the excluded individuals cannot safely and effectively do the job, and job operations might otherwise be harmed.
Sexual harassment is one form of sex discrimination. It can include any unwelcome sexual advances or conduct of a sexual nature that is verbal, physical, or visual. It could include leering, making sexual gestures, touching, groping, displaying sexually suggestive images or objects, blocking movements, or offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors. A sex discrimination attorney can help Los Angeles residents pursue the remedies to which they are entitled in a situation involving sexual harassment.
In addition to rights provided under FEHA, the California Equal Pay Act requires your employer to pay you the same as other employees who do substantially similar work when evaluated as a composite of responsibility, effort, and skill, if you are performing under similar working conditions. For example, if all of the male sales managers make $40/hour, and you are also a sales manager who is female, you should also make $40/hour.
Employers are not supposed to pay men and women different compensation for similar work, unless they can show that the difference in what is paid is based on a bona fide factor other than sex.
Whether you are filing under FEHA or Title VII, your Los Angeles sex discrimination attorney will usually file a charge with either the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). For most people, FEHA provides greater protection because it applies to smaller employers, and your damages are not capped, as they are under Title VII, based on the size of the employer. You should pay attention to timing and consult an attorney as soon as possible because the timeline to file a charge differs under state and federal laws.
Assuming that there is the requisite number of employees, either agency can investigate, and either can issue a right to sue letter. A claim that you file with one agency can be concurrently filed with the other, assuming that you indicate that this is your wish. You then have a limited time to sue in civil court for damages.
Consult a Knowledgeable Sex Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have faced sex or gender discrimination or harassment at your job, the Nourmand Law Firm may be able to represent you in a lawsuit to recover damages. We strive to provide aggressive legal representation to workers who have been harmed in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and other cities in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form if you want to discuss an incident of sex, gender, or sexual orientation discrimination or harassment.