Some of your personal characteristics should not be the subject of employment decisions. That is why several state and federal laws protect you from workplace discrimination. If you have endured employment discrimination in the State of California, our Sacramento employment discrimination attorneys at King & Siegel LLP can recover what you are owed for the injustice. You can reach us any hour of the day for our top-rated professional help. 

What Is Employment Discrimination? 

Employment discrimination is unfair treatment at work or during the hiring process that is based on an individual’s:

  • Age (40 and over),
  • Color,
  • Disability,
  • Genetics,
  • Marital status,
  • Medical condition,
  • Military status, 
  • National origin, 
  • Race,
  • Religion, 
  • Sex, or 
  • Veteran status. 

Legal protections against sex-based discrimination include protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy. Also, your employer cannot punish you for asserting your rights under state and federal anti-discrimination laws. The two main laws that protect California employees from discrimination are the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  

Types of Employment Discrimination

Employers must avoid discriminating against individuals regardless of whether they are applying for jobs, just starting at their companies, or working as seasoned members of their teams. So, what does discrimination look like? Discrimination can result in unfair, adverse work decisions or a hostile work environment. 

If you have had to endure one of the following situations in your workplace because of a protected characteristic, you might have a discrimination claim:

  • Job loss,
  • Unequal pay, 
  • Denial of a job, 
  • Exclusion from work projects,
  • Denial of work benefits, 
  • Harassment, 
  • Denial of reasonable accommodations,
  • Demotion, 
  • Unwanted job transfer, 
  • Refusal to recognize certain religious needs, 
  • Denial of a promotion, 
  • Pay reduction, or
  • Exclusion from training programs.  

Unlawful discrimination is often covert, but you can usually still recognize when something is wrong. If you sense discriminatory behavior at your job, speak to one of our Sacramento employment discrimination lawyers about your options. 

Additional Anti-Discrimination Laws

Title VII and FEHA are not the only laws that protect employees from discrimination. Depending on your personal characteristics, your employer might have different or additional obligations to create an inclusive workplace. 

Workers’ Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

If you have a physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity, you have additional employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you can perform the essential functions of your job, the ADA requires an employer with at least 15 employees to provide you with reasonable accommodations to help you enjoy employment opportunities like everyone else. Reasonable accommodations could include: 

  • Desks that can accommodate someone’s durable medical equipment;
  • Voice recognition technology; 
  • Ergonomic office equipment;
  • Ramps in entryways; and 
  • Private office areas. 

These are only a handful of examples of reasonable accommodations you could request. 

If your employer knows that you have a disability and accommodating your disability-related needs would not be an undue hardship (i.e., too expensive or too disruptive to the business), your employer needs to accommodate you. 

Workers’ Rights Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) specifically protects employees who are 40 years old or older. While employers are allowed to favor workers who are older, they are not allowed to favor younger workers at the expense of workers who are 40 and above. If you want to assert your rights under the ADEA, your employer must have at least 20 employees. 

Filing a Discrimination Complaint or Lawsuit

If you are the victim of workplace discrimination covered by Title VII, the ADA, or the ADEA, you can file a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). And if your boss’s behavior violates the FEHA, you can file a discrimination complaint with the California Civil Rights Division (CRD). 


In most cases, your employer must have at least 15 employees before you can file an EEOC complaint (20 employees for ADEA violations). And your employer must have at least five employees to be subject to a CRD complaint. You can also file a civil lawsuit against your employer for its misconduct, but you must first receive a notice from the EEOC or the CRD that states that you have a right to sue. 

Available Remedies

Your employer should be held accountable for its discriminatory conduct. Under state and federal law, you have the right to receive financial compensation and other legal relief for your employer’s wrongful actions. Compensation and relief can include: 

  • Back pay,
  • Benefit reinstatement, 
  • Job restructuring,
  • Policy changes,
  • Compensation for financial losses, 
  • Job reinstatement,
  • Inclusion in work programs, 
  • Compensation for emotional distress, 
  • Reasonable accommodations, 
  • Wage increases,
  • Promotions denied to you, and
  • Punitive damages. 

Our experienced Sacramento employment discrimination attorneys can help ensure you receive the most compensation and relief for your troubles. 

Time Limits for Filing

Suffering the effects of workplace discrimination can be devastating and slow you down, but you must file your complaint and lawsuit before the deadlines pass. If you miss a deadline, you could miss your opportunity to obtain justice. 

In general, you have 180 days to file a discrimination charge with the EEOC (45 days if you are a federal employee). If your EEOC charge is also covered under state law, you have 300 days to file. You have three years to file a discrimination complaint with the CRD. 

If you wish to file a federal lawsuit, you have 90 days to do so after receiving an EEOC Notice of Right to Sue. And you have one year to file a state lawsuit after receiving a CRD Right-to-Sue Notice. Speak to an attorney immediately after experiencing workplace harassment so they can meet all your crucial deadlines to preserve your rights. 

King & Siegel Can Help

Our employment discrimination attorneys at King & Siegel were educated at the finest law schools, trained at the largest law firms, and have come together to protect California’s workforce. We have the skill, we have the passion, and we have the track record—we have won millions for mistreated employees. Contact us today for a free case review.