Work may be stressful enough without also facing discrimination or sexual harassment. Many employees have encountered overt acts of discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment, but they may not realize that California law provides strong protections to workers and defines these unlawful activities broadly. For many employees, deciding what to do or whom to consult after experiencing discrimination or sexual harassment is daunting.
At Aarons Ward, our dedicated Los Angeles employment lawyers have provided experienced legal counsel to many workers in complicated situations and are prepared to assist you with seeking the compensation that you deserve. We have helped people who need a discrimination lawyer or representation in claims involving wrongful termination or retaliation, among other matters.Bringing a Discrimination or Sexual Harassment Claim in California
One of the most important aspects of asserting your rights is understanding how to initiate a claim. Prior to filing a lawsuit an employee has to file a charge of discrimination with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). If an employee, whether current or former, believes that they were subjected to sexual harassment, for example, they may contact either or both agencies to file a claim. The EEOC has discretion to bring a civil lawsuit against the employer, depending on the results of its investigation. The DFEH, by contrast, brings a claim before the Fair Employment and Housing Commission or the employee can request an immediate right to sue letter and proceed directly in court. The lawyers at Aarons Ward can assist you in the filing of your DFEH or EEOC charge to make sure it is done timely and correctly.
Discrimination against a wide range of protected traits is strictly prohibited under federal and state laws. Some of the most common examples include an employee’s age, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, national origin, or religion. Meanwhile, sexual harassment includes any form of unwanted physical or verbal conduct in the workplace. Like the federal government, California has identified two distinct types of harassment. First, quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer asks the employee to engage in sexual activities in exchange for promotions, time off, or other favorable conditions of the job. Second, hostile work environment harassment occurs when an employer facilitates or does nothing to address a workplace environment in which sexual harassment occurs freely. This may include not only comments, gestures, jokes, or other verbal acts of harassment but also the display and portrayal of images that would make a reasonable employee feel harassed.Wrongful Termination Claims
Our employment attorneys also help Los Angeles residents bring claims based on a wrongful termination. California law provides protections to employees who are terminated in violation of any employment agreement or contract for an unlawful reason, such as discrimination or the rejection of unwanted sexual advances. In California, the default employment relationship is at-will, which means that an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time. To provide protections in these situations, California has created a number of grounds on which a termination will be considered wrongful, and an employee will be able to seek damages. For example, terminating an employee based on their race, national origin, sex, religion, pregnancy, age, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship status, political beliefs and activities, or medical condition constitutes a wrongful termination.
Another common example of a wrongful termination involves retaliation by the employer. If an employer does not terminate the employee on one of the grounds listed above, it may also terminate the employee as retribution for requesting time off, taking a protected family medical leave, coping with a sick family member, or filing a complaint implicating the employer or another employee in a discrimination or sexual harassment incident. This type of misconduct is just as illegal and entitles an aggrieved worker to seek remedies.Protect Your Rights by Enlisting an Employment Lawyer in the Los Angeles Area
If you are experiencing discrimination, sexual harassment, or other misconduct in the workplace, the experienced Los Angeles employment attorneys at Aarons Ward are available to provide you with the reliable legal counsel that you need. We have represented employees in cities such as Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, Glendale, and Woodland Hills, and we understand what you are going through during this stressful time. To set up a free consultation with a wrongful termination lawyer or seek assistance with another type of employment claim, contact us online or at 818-794-7100.