Discrimination at Work

Do comments like this happen in your workplace?

“Only hire the younger one. I don’t want any old guys slowing us down.”

“Mexicans are just unreliable, don’t hire them.”

Hard to believe, but it happens everyday. At work, this is illegal discrimination and just plain WRONG! Our San Jose Discrimination Attorneys want to investigate for you if you are experiencing comments like these!

Our San Jose Discrimination Attorneys want to investigate for you!

You have to ask yourself, “Have I ever been the victim of discrimination?”

I’ll try and break down the many types of workplace discrimination so they are easy to understand. The information here can help you determine if you have a case according to California discrimination laws and/or federal rules. In basic terms, any kind of bigotry in the workplace is inappropriate, and in many cases against the law. It may not always look bad on the surface, as in the case of a boss’s favoritism, only promoting a specific group while overlooking the older employees or a certain gender, etc.

Several different classes qualify for protected under the current discrimination laws; California added NEW LAWS RECENTLY  to add “Military and Veteran Status” to the protected classes.

Pretty much anyone can fall under at least one protected class given the right circumstances. Protecting yourself is crucial and we are here to help.
Let’s have a look at who is protected by California workplace discrimination laws.

Disabled persons: Discriminating against any employee or applicant with disabilities as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the “ADA”  as well as the Rehabilitations Act, is explicitly prohibited by both state and federal laws. These laws make illegal any kind of discrimination in any and all forms of employment such as hiring, firing, job assignment, rate of pay and pay raises, being promoted, benefits, company layoffs and required training.

Harassment: Harassing of any disabled person at work could include extreme teasing and inappropriate statements in such a constant way that it creates a hostile environment. Such harassment can come from a supervisor and/or co-workers.

San Jose Disability discriminationReasonable Accommodations: The law states that all employers are to make reasonable accommodations or alterations to the workplace in an effort to meet the needs of disabled employee/s as long as doing so does not create undue hardship for the company. “It’s just too much work and inconvenience” is not an acceptable excuse for refusing to make necessary changes. If you were denied proper facilities in which to do your job, making it impossible to perform your duties, this can be discrimination.

The EEOC Defines Disability as: Having a medical condition will not automatically classify you as disabled and give you protection. Protected persons must be equally qualified for the given position while being disabled. Legal disability has three forms:

  • Physical or mental impairment which significantly limit a vital life activity such as, walking, speaking, hearing, seeing or learning.
  • If you have been disabled in the past due to injury or illness, for example: cancer that is in remission.
  • You may be protected as disabled if believed to be disabled. This means, if you were harassed or even terminated because your coworkers or supervisor thought you are ill even if you were not.

Federal employees and applicants fall under the regulation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and not the ADA. The protections are roughly equivalent. We can assist you in better understanding the intricacies.

California Age discrimination: “Dump the old baggage”
This one is a bit tricky as employers tend to be more concealed about such practices. In addition employers are within rights when laying off a senior employee, then replace him or her with a junior capable of performing the same function while making a smaller salary, in order to save the company money. So this is the tricky part. If you can prove you were replaced based solely on age as opposed to money savings, it could be deemed age discrimination and the company liable for their actions.

Any company with a standard practice of exclusively hiring people below a given age for the reason that “older individuals can’t work as fast or as efficiently” etc. is breaking the law. Whether the practice is written or simply implied it displays clear prejudice.

In order to prove age discrimination such a policy must be clearly established and different from “downsizing”. In some cases when a company does downsize they will offer older employees early retirement with considerable severance packages also known as a “golden handshake.” Though not always unlawful, if such incentives are used in a manner to remove strictly older employees it may be defined as discriminatory and therefore illegal.

California Sex or Gender discrimination: Many new clients want to know, “Was it sexual discrimination?” Or “is there gender discrimination going on here?”
Have a look below; these are statements that might be considered discriminatory.

“Oh, that time of the month again?”
“I told you I always regret hiring women, they cause too many problems!”
“Nice shirt Jen, now I know how you get those big accounts.”

Sex and gender discrimination will sometimes fall under harassment as well. This is why we thoroughly examine each case from all directions.

Discrimination happens everywhere, whether you are a man or a woman being denied advancement or employment on gender alone or relegated to specific duties or positions is wrong. Sometimes it starts small and seems innocuous, however workplace discrimination can escalate quickly especially if ignored or allowed by a supervisor creating an institutional attitude of condoning discrimination by one or many employees. Your boss can be held personally responsible for such action or inaction and be penalized.

Just like age discrimination, such mistreatment can show as unequal treatment or favoritism toward one gender. You may not have been “mistreated” just because you were a man, but your female CEO has made a clear habit of promoting only other women and passing you over for one who is less qualified than you just because you are a man.

Pregnancy is often a cause of workplace discrimination and is likewise protected under the same laws. If you are denied advancement, not hired or demoted because you are pregnant or have children, the company is showing prejudice and could be found liable with financial penalties.

Racial Discrimination at Work:
Are you wondering “When is it racial discrimination?” or “Am I being discriminated against?”

I’ll do my best to answer JUST THAT!

Though this may seem cut and dry, the face of racial discrimination in the workplace changes all the time. You shouldn’t put up with “status quo” in an unequal company.

Stereotyping is DISCRIMINATION! If you were denied a promotion or only allowd certain jobs within the organization because of your race you may have a claim.

DO I have a discrimination case?[headline]

  • You are a member of one or more protected classes (often a minority, but not always).i.e. you are Asian and the “other person/s” are not.
  • You are qualified for said job you applied for or performing as well as meeting all expectations at the time you were demoted, fired or disciplined. i.e. you possess all skills necessary and never received complaint regarding performance.
  • The individual who was hired or promoted over you was chosen solely because they were not the same race as you. i.e. the predominantly Asian corporation felt that you as a Hispanic would not “fit in” as well. No one can be denied a job or promotion, fired or forced into certain jobs or in any way be mistreated on the job based on their immigration status or nationality.
    “You’ll only work here as a maid.”
    “I want the “right look” for this company; make sure “they” stay in back where no one will see them.”
    “If you don’t want me to have you deported I’d keep your mouth shut and do what you’re told.”
    We’ve heard it all from clients being abused at work and it’s illegal discrimination, no matter your status in this country.


Most companies will provide another reason to cover their true reasoning, usually holding no merit i.e. “Sorry she was better qualified,” though not true. It is often difficult proving each account of racial inequity; however after 35 plus years of sorting out such legal issues we can help clear it up for you.

As with any legal issue, EVIDENCE IS KEY! Should you have voicemails or emails documenting this type of discriminatory action or even witnesses who can support your claims this is very important, but not the only way to prove your case. Collect this if you have it and call us today, we want to talk!

Discrimination: Nation of Origin San Jose Racisim
Because this involves immigration discrimination there are many new laws you can read here.

No one can be denied a job or promotion, fired or forced into certain jobs or in any way be mistreated on the job based on their immigration status or nationality.

Have you ever heard this?
“You’ll only work here as a maid.”
“I want the “right look” for this company; make sure “they” stay in back where no one will see them.”
“If you don’t want me to have you deported I’d keep your mouth shut and do what you’re told.”

We’ve heard it all from clients being abused at work and it’s illegal discrimination no matter your status in this country.

You don’t have to live with this type of injustice at work. Is this happening to you or someone you know, my team and I want to hear about it!

The NEW LAWS  can help us protect you too.


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