Helping You Put A Stop To Workplace Discrimination

If you believe you have been the victim of workplace discrimination, it is important that you speak with an employment law attorney at Siegal & Richardson LLP as soon as possible. Illegal discrimination can happen during a person's employment, as well as in the hiring process.

State and federal laws exist to protect employees and independent contractors from various kinds of discrimination in the workplace. We can assess your case, explain your options and help you secure the compensation and justice you need and deserve.

For a free consultation, contact Siegal & Richardson LLP today. Our labor law and employment law attorneys advise and represent employees in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.

Workplace Discrimination Takes Many Forms

Our firm has a record of success in representing people whose jobs and lives have been affected by workplace discrimination. As passionate and committed legal advocates, we can fight to protect your rights if you have been the victim of any of the following types of discrimination:

Discrimination Based On Race Or National Origin

It is illegal for an employer to harass or discriminate against employees because of their race or national origin. Harassment may involve name-calling, displaying offensive cartoons, assigning undesirable duties, or even wrongful termination. If any of this seems familiar to you, the first thing you should do is look into your employer's harassment and discrimination reporting policies. Typical reporting policies require an employee alleging harassment to notify his or her boss and the human resources department in writing. In order to retain all your rights in any lawsuit, it's important that you follow your employer's policy. How you handle the situation is also affected by who is making the conditions of your employment more difficult. If you have been discriminated against or harassed by one of your peers, for example, your first option will likely not be to file a lawsuit. Your employer cannot be held liable for that kind of harassment unless the employer is informed of it and fails to fix the situation.

If you have been discriminated against or harassed by a supervisor, on the other hand, your employer is assumed to be aware of the supervisor's conduct and is automatically liable. Obviously, other variables can come into play in a situation involving discrimination either on the job or in the hiring process, and it is important for you to know your rights. That is where we can help. If you believe you are being targeted at work because of your race or national origin, or if you believe your race or national origin was a reason for your not being hired, please contact us so we can help you achieve a just resolution to your problem.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

It is illegal in California for an employer to discriminate against an employee — or a potential employee — based on the employee's sexual orientation. This law protects individuals who identify themselves as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or transsexual. It is also important to note that an employer may not discriminate against an employee based on a perception of the employee's sexual orientation. That is, if an employer discriminates against you because he or she thinks you're gay, even if you're not, it is a violation of the law.

Like other areas of illegal workplace behavior, discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation come in many forms. Being called names, being confronted with offensive cartoons, finding yourself excluded from meetings and functions, and losing your job are situations you might find yourself in if you work for a discriminatory employer. If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against based on your sexual orientation, please call us. We can help you determine if you are eligible to recover lost wages and other benefits, damages for emotional distress, and punitive damages.

Religious Discrimination

It is illegal under federal and state laws for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on the employee's religious beliefs or practices (e.g., observing the Sabbath or wearing clothing prescribed by religion). These laws cover all aspects of employment, including the application process; hiring, advancement, and discharge; compensation, training and other benefits; and reasonable accommodations to observe religious days. Sometimes religious discrimination is exacerbated by discrimination based on race or national origin. And believe it or not, religious discrimination can also be a problem for atheists.

As in the case of disability discrimination, employers are not required to make reasonable accommodations for a person's religious beliefs or practices if doing so would create an undue hardship. Under most circumstances, however, accommodations for an employee's religious beliefs do not create an undue hardship. If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against based on your religion (or your lack of religious belief), please call us so we can determine how the law can help you.

Pregnancy Discrimination

If you are pregnant, there are many ways you are protected from harassment and discrimination under the law. Although the law is clear, it is not always followed, and you may find yourself needing help to determine what course of action to take and what rights you actually have under any of these circumstances: a co-worker calls you a name or makes an offensive comment based on your pregnancy; you have been demoted or fired (or denied a job in the first place) because of your pregnancy; you have been denied a reasonable accommodation deemed necessary by your doctor as a result of your pregnancy; or you have been refused maternity leave.

If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against because you are pregnant or because you may become pregnant, we can answer your questions, explain your options and help you seek an appropriate resolution of the matter. Call us today for a free evaluation of your circumstances.

Age Discrimination

If you are 40 years of age or older and you believe your employer has discriminated against you due to your age — and particularly if you feel your company is positioning itself to fire you — contact us about your situation as soon as possible. You should also determine if your company has a system in place for reporting discrimination. If the employer has such a system, you should follow through with the reporting procedure. This is the first step you must take, and we will ask you about this process in your initial consultation.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) offers protections to employees with regard to discrimination and harassment based on age. Specifically, it is illegal to discriminate against or harass an employee who is 40 or older.

Whether you have been fired, assigned undesirable duties or denied training based on your age, or even if you have been the butt of jokes because of your age, you may have a case against your employer. Due to the fact that employers will not be quick to admit any wrongdoing, uncovering the details of age discrimination cases can be tricky. That is why it is vital that you have an experienced age discrimination attorney on your side — someone who knows what to look for and can put the pieces together.

Disability Discrimination

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities. The ADA covers all aspects of employment, including the application process, hiring, day-to-day work, compensation, training, promotions, discharge and benefits.

California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) serves the same purpose as the ADA, but FEHA defines a qualified disability more broadly. Under FEHA, a disability is any physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities, such as caring for oneself, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, reading and eating. The disability can be obvious (e.g., walking with a cane) or not readily apparent (e.g., depression). It is also important to note that if an employer discriminates against you because the employer thinks you have a disability — even if you don't — it is a violation of the law.

If these laws were clear-cut, easy to understand and guaranteed to be followed, of course, there would be no need for lawyers. Unfortunately, here in the real world, that is not always the case. If you have requested a reasonable accommodation from your employer and are involved in the required "good faith" interactive process of meeting and discussing potential accommodations, now is a good time to call us. You need someone who can help you navigate this process in a way that retains your right to any future recovery and helps you understand your employer's legal requirements. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, we can help. Call us today so we can get started.

Political Discrimination

Participating in the political process in the United States can be one of the most rewarding things a citizen can do. We are all free to express our hope for the future of the country through financial donations, membership in political organizations, running for office and other political activities. And we each have a choice about which political organizations and movements we support. In California, it is illegal for an employer to use threats of job loss in an attempt to coerce or influence an employee's political activities. For example, your employer cannot force you to make a political donation you don't want to make, and your employer cannot stop you from running for political office. If you think you have been the target of this kind of discrimination, please call us. We can help you sort through the issues and ensure that you are compensated for any injustice.

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Schedule a free consultation today by contacting us via email or by calling 800-499-2404. We are a team of employment lawyers advising and representing employees in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.