Most states have anti-discrimination laws. More than 20 offer protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity alongside race, religion, national origin, pregnancy and age. California is included in that list under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Federal law also prohibits discrimination. Its provisions are overseen and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and protected under the various laws, including the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Age Discrimination Act.
If you are a California resident and feel like you are being discriminated against at work, which laws will help you win a lawsuit? Federal law appears on the surface more powerful….but is it?
There are differences in a laws, even though their end goals are much in the same. California law is much broader in its protections, however, and has some different rules for employers.
California employers with five or more employees are generally covered by the Fair Employment and Housing Act. All employers are covered by FHEA with regard to harassment, no matter the size.
The Civil Rights Act and the ADA is required for companies with 15 or more employees. Section 1981’s prohibitions against race and national origin discrimination apply to all employers regardless of size.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act allows for more compensatory damages than federal law; in fact, compensatory and punitive damages are unlimited in the state of California. Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act, claims are capped depending on the number of employees a company has.
Whichever law applies to your case, discrimination at work is illegal under both state and federal law. It is your legal right to file a claim that best suits your situation so you are vindicated for the pain and suffering that was caused as a result of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
If you feel you are being discriminated against, it’s important that you seek the help of an experienced California employment attorney as soon as possible.