Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer

"Some employers use factors such as age, race, gender, disability status and religious beliefs to discriminate against their employees. As an employment lawyer who only represents employees, it is my job to ensure that when they engage in this conduct, they donít get away with it."
                             --- James W. Johnston, Esq.


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Unlawful Discrimination - Statutory Grounds
It is unlawful for an employer to wrongfully termination, discriminate or harass an employee because of that employee's race, sex, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, marital status, medical condition, age, or sexual orientation. (There are also other types of unlawful discrimination discussed elsewhere on this site.)  An experienced employment discrimination lawyer can evaluate whether you have a case. 

Enforcement in California
In California, most cases of unlawful discrimination by an employer are pursued under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), rather than federal law, Title VII.  That is the case because in most instances FEHA provides greater remedies and more protection to an employee who has been victimized by this type of conduct than does federal law.

Even At-Will Employee Protected
Even "at-will" employees are entitled to the legal protections afforded by FEHA and Title VII, and can sue an employer who has engaged in this type of discrimination.  Additionally, discrimination based on a woman's pregnancy, child birth, or other related medical conditions, may constitute a form of sex discrimination. 

25 Years Experience
Mr. Johnston has been a lawyer for more than 25 years.  If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against on the basis of Age, Ancestry, Color, Religious Creed, Denial of Family and Medical Care Leave, Disability, Marital Status, Medical Condition , National Origin, Race, Religion, Sex, and Sexual Orientation, and would like to consult with an employment lawyer in Los Angeles, we invite you to contact our office and make an appointment to speak with attorney Johnston about your case.  


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Ask an Employment Discrimination Lawyer

If you believe you have been the victim of employment discrimination in your workplace, we invite you to contact attorney Johnston about your potential claim(s) by clicking on the link in the box at left.



Employment Discrimination Links

Employment Discrimination Page - U.S. Department of Justice

EEOC - Discrimination in Employment

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Employment Discrimination Overview - Cornell University Law School

Employment Discrimination - Wikipedia

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Unlawful Discrimination - Conduct Prohibited

The following conduct is unlawful if based on one of the listed statutory grounds for unlawful discrimination (listed above): 

  • Failing or refusing to hire
  • Failing or refusing to refer for employment
  • Discharging
  • Failing to promote
  • Demoting
  • Otherwise discriminating with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

Additional Conduct Prohibited

  • Failing to make reasonable accommodation for the known physical or mental disability of an applicant or employee

  • Printing a publication that limits, specifies or discriminates on the basis of a protected classification
  • Failing to accommodate a pregnant employee's request for transfer to less strenuous or hazardous duties
  • Failing to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent unlawful discrimination
  • Taking adverse action against an employee because of his or her religious beliefs, unless the employer has made reasonable efforts to accommodate those beliefs

Proving Discrimination

The burden is on the employee to show that he or she suffered an adverse employment action because of unlawful discrimination by the employer.  This burden may be sustained by proving that the adverse action was the result of disparate treatment, disparate impact, or a failure to accommodate where there is a duty to do so, if such conduct is based on one of the enumerated grounds for unlawful discrimination.


Selected Employment Discrimination Cases

Mathieu v. Norrell Corp. (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 1174; Second District Court of Appeals, Division Seven.  In a joint-employer case brought under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the court held that where an employer sends an employee to do work for another person, and both have the right to exercise certain powers of control over the employee, that employee may be held to have two employers - his original or "general" employer and a second, "special" employer."

Horsford v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 359; Fifth District Court of Appeals.  In the case, the employee filed suit against her employer, alleging a violation of FEHA.  One of the issues presented in the case, was what constituted an "adverse employment action."  The court concluded that to be actionable, the adverse treatment must be reasonably likely to impair a reasonable employee's job performance or prospects for advancement, as distinguished from minor or relatively trivial actions that are likely to do no more than displease. 
Campbell v. Arco Marine, Inc. (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 1850; Second District Court of Appeals, Division Four.  The appeals court held that FEHA does not apply to nonresidents when the wrongful conduct occurred outside California, even if the employer is based in California.  

Sample Superior Court Discrimination Complaint (Los Angeles County) 


The above information is provided as a courtesy of The Johnston Law Firm, and constitutes only a brief summary of some general employment law, discrimination issues and related legal rights under California law.  As such it does not constitute legal advice, and you should contact an attorney to discuss any specific employment issue you may have.  For further questions, please contact our  office on the forms provided.

515 S. Flower Street, 36th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90071
(213) 291-6977

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