Fighting for Workplace Justice

Fighting for Workplace Justice

San Francisco Employment Discrimination Lawyer

If you believe that you have been discriminated against in the workplace, Brandon Banks Law will fight for you every step of the way. There is no room in San Francisco for discrimination in the workplace, and we will ensure your rights are protected under California law.

At Brandon Banks Law, APC, our San Francisco Employment Lawyers understand how frustrating it can be to face discrimination on the job. From the moment that you are hired at a job, you expect to be treated fairly and not be harassed or unfairly treated for the color of your skin, gender, age, or any other protected personal attribute. 

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or fill out our intake form so that you can get started. This form collects information so that we can identify how we can best serve you.

How is Workplace Discrimination Defined in California?

In California, workplace discrimination is defined as any adverse treatment or unfavorable actions taken against an employee based on their membership in a protected class. Protected classes include characteristics such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, and other categories specified by law.

California Protected Classes

Workplace harassment and discrimination has no place in California. This is especially true for certain members of the San Francisco community. California has identified several “protected classes” of individuals who have an extra layer of workplace protections against discriminatory practices.

The California Civil Rights Department enforces laws that protect the California workforce from discrimination and harassment based on actual or perceived:

  • Ancestry
  • Age (40 and above)
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Genetic Information
  • Gender Expression
  • Gender Identity
  • Marital Status
  • Medical Condition
  • Military or Veteran Status
  • National Origin (including language, possession of driver’s license to undocumented immigrants)
  • Race (including hair texture and hairstyles)
  • Religion
  • Reproductive Health Decision-making
  • Sex/Gender (including pregnancy, children, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions)
  • Sexual Orientation

The Civil Rights Department (CRD) in California states that it is illegal for employees who have five or more employees to discriminate against job applicants and employees who fall under a protected category such as those mentioned above. 

Signs of Workplace Discrimination

California law prohibits companies with five or more employees and public employers from discriminating against any employee based on any protected characteristic when making business decisions such as hiring, termination, salary, vacation time and other benefits. 

Additionally, there may be other less obvious forms of workplace discrimination. These might include:

Should I Report Discrimination to HR?

Speaking with your HR Department is one of the first steps that you can take after you believe you have fallen victim to discrimination in the workplace. Your HR department has the expectation to fairly investigate any claims of discrimination from an employer and ensure through preventative measures that you are kept safe while there is an ongoing investigation.

Sometimes, individuals decide not to report discrimination with the fear that there will be an inadequate or impartial investigation into their case. They may even be fearful of an employer retaliating against them once they make a report. Fortunately, there are laws and protections for employees who have experienced this. With the help of an attorney, you can ensure that your rights are being protected if you have been discriminated against on the job.

Before you move forward with a lawsuit against your employer on the basis of discrimination, you must file a report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which your attorney will help you with.

California Workplace Discrimination Laws

Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA): FEHA serves as California’s primary statute prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation within employment settings. It offers protection to individuals belonging to specified categories, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, and age. FEHA applies to employers with a workforce of five or more employees. Violations of this law may encompass instances of bullying, physical harm, or inappropriate jokes targeting any of these characteristics.

California Family Rights Act (CFRA): CFRA grants eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for designated family and medical reasons, such as situations where an employee’s health condition impedes job performance or necessitates caring for a family member with a severe medical condition. This legislation applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Violations of this law may involve denying leave or threatening job security in response to an employee’s exercise of their leave rights.

California Labor Code Section 1102.5: This statute protects employees who disclose information to governmental or law enforcement agencies regarding violations of state or federal laws or regulations, as well as those who refrain from engaging in activities that would contravene the law. Violations of this law may include termination, demotion, or harassment based on an employee’s disclosure of information to such entities.

California Labor Code Section 98.6: This section safeguards employees who file complaints or exercise their rights under the state’s labor laws. Violations of this law may involve termination, demotion, or harassment following an employee’s filing of a complaint alleging a violation of labor laws.

California Labor Code Section 230: Section 230 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their lawful off-duty conduct, including activities or hobbies outside of work hours. Violations of this law may include termination or bullying based on an employee’s engagement in legal activities outside of work.

California Labor Code Section 6310: This provision deems it impermissible for an employer to retaliate against an employee for reporting workplace safety concerns or hazards to appropriate government agencies. Violations of this law may involve termination, demotion, or harassment following an employee’s filing of a complaint regarding labor law violations.

California Business and Professions Code Section 16600: This law ensures employees retain the freedom to pursue employment opportunities upon leaving a job. Violations of this law may include threats against an employee for seeking employment with another company in a similar field.

California Government Code Section 12940: A component of FEHA, this section specifically prohibits harassment and discrimination based on protected characteristics.

California Government Code Section 12965: This section outlines the procedures for lodging complaints with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and seeking legal recourse for workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Contact a California Employment Law Attorney Today for More Information

Workplace discrimination is traumatic. You should never have to handle a discrimination case on your own. At Brandon Banks Law, APC, we offer you the resources and representation that you deserve as a protected member of the San Francisco work community. Please complete our Employment Intake Form so that we can best support you in your unique case.

Disclaimer: While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call the firm or complete the intake form below.