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At Will Employment and Discrimination at Workplace in California

Arkady Itkin

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It is very important to understand that there is a big difference between the employer's conduct that is simply unfair and the one that is actually illegal. Just because your boss yells at you, criticizes your performance or gives you boring, low-level work, doesn't mean that his conduct is illegal. In fact, it's most likely to be legal and not to be confused with discrimination at workplace.

Discrimination at workplace only occurs when your employer treats you differently from other employees because you are a member of protected class - gender, disability, race/ethnicity, familial status, age, religion.

As you may guess, showing that you are treated differently isn't that hard, but proving why you were treated different and establishing the motive behind your employer's conduct toward you is more challenging.

Nevertheless, an employee often manages to prove that his manager or supervisor discriminated against him based on race by presenting evidence of the superior's verbal statements demonstrating animosity toward the race to which the employee belongs, such as racial slur/slang, repeated racial jokes, etc. Racial Discrimination can also be proved by showing that the employer is trying to get rid of the few members of the specific ethnic minority and is engaging in a patter of replacing those employees with the employees that belong to a certain other racial group.

Disability or medical condition discrimination can be proved if shown that an employee was terminated or demoted shortly after sustained an injury or being diagnosed with a certain medical condition.

Age discrimination is often proven by showing that a company terminated one employee who was over 40 without a valid reason, such as performance issues, and hired another employee who is under the age of 40. This fact coupled with the pattern of hiring exclusively younger employees is likely to be a strong evidence of age discrimination.

Finally, sex discrimination can be shown through evidence that males earn more or are promoted quicker and to higher positions than their equally qualified, skilled and experienced female colleagues.

Arkady Itkin
California Employment Lawyer
San Francisco - Bay Area - Sacramento


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