Fighting for Justice inside and out of the Workplace

Los Angeles Anti-Discrimination Lawyers

Baker, Burton & Lundy is committed to helping our clients receive the justice they deserve for discrimination in the workplace.

According to Baker, Burton & Lundy litigation attorney Evan Koch, the most common types of discrimination he sees are age, gender, race and disability. Most of our cases come from individuals who faced retaliation from complaints associated with unlawful discrimination practices, including wrongful termination.

What types of employment discrimination are against federal law?

According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the following types of discrimination are prohibited by federal law: age, disability, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, religion, and sex. Additionally, they interpret Title VII to forbid any form of employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The law prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Pay
  • Job Assignments
  • Promotions
  • Layoff
  • Training
  • Benefits
  • Any other term or condition of employment

How does the law define illegal harassment in the workplace?

According to the EEOC, “harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).”

What kinds of workplace relationships are covered?

The individual guilty of discrimination against the victim could be the victim’s supervisor, supervisor in another area of the company, or co-worker. It can also include someone who is not actually an employee of the company, such as a client or customer.

What is a reasonable accommodation? (for disability, religion, etc.)

“A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment (or in the way things are usually done) to help a person with a disability apply for a job, perform the duties of a job, the benefits and privileges of employment.”

Examples of accommodation

  • Making the workplace accessible for a wheelchair
  • Providing a reader or interpreter for a blind/hearing impaired employee

When is an accommodation considered an undue hardship?

According to the EEOC, undue hardship means that “the accommodation would be too difficult or too expensive to provide, in light of the employer’s size, financial resources, and the needs of the business.” However, an employer may not refuse to provide an accommodation solely because it involves some cost.

What qualifies as age discrimination in the workplace?

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. [In addition to the above list of aspects of employment,] this includes frequent or severe offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s age.

What qualifies as genetic information discrimination in the workplace?

Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits the use of genetic information to make an employment decision and deems genetic information irrelevant to an individual’s ability to work. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines genetic information as “information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, as well as information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual’s family members (i.e., family medical history).”

What qualifies as national origin discrimination in the workplace?

It is unlawful to treat a job applicant or employee unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, due to ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background. It is important to note that this type of discrimination can occur even if the victim is not actually from the part of the world, as long as the treatment occurred because the victim was believed to have a certain origin. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate based on an individual’s citizenship or immigration status.

What qualifies as pregnancy discrimination in the workplace?

According to the EEOC, “pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.” This is supported by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Impairments resulting from pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia may be disabilities under ADA. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 addresses employee rights regarding maternity and parental leave, and also covers nursing mothers.

What qualifies as race/color discrimination in the workplace?

Race discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably due to that person’s race or personal characteristics associated with race. These characteristics can include hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features. Color discrimination is unfavorable treatment because of a person’s skin color complexion. This can include unfavorable treatment to a spouse or family member’s race or personal characteristics associated with race.

What qualifies as religious discrimination in the workplace?

Federal law protects individuals who belong to traditional, organized religions (Buddhis, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism), but also can apply to others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Additionally, employees cannot be pressured to engage in (or not engage in) any religious activity.

What qualifies as sex-based discrimination in the workplace?

Sex-based discrimination can include any unfavorable treatment of a job applicant or an employee because of that person’s sex. This includes sexual harassment [link], but harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature and can include non-sexual offensive remarks about a person’s sex. It is also illegal to harass a person by making offensive comments about that sex in general.

What qualifies as LBGT discrimination in the workplace?

The EEOC explains that it “interprets the statute’s sex discrimination provision as prohibiting discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” Examples include failing to hire an applicant because she is a transgender woman, firing an employee planning to make a gender transition, or denying spousal benefits because the employee is part of a same-sex marriage.

What qualifies as disability discrimination in the workplace? How does the ADA apply to employment discrimination?

The EEOC explains that “the law requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.”  It is important to note that not all medical conditions are protected by the law. A person must also be qualified for the job.

This includes protecting people from discrimination based on their relationship with a person with a disability. For example, it’s illegal to discriminate against an employee or job applicant because the spouse or child has a disability.

Our Diverse Client Base

Baker, Burton & Lundy’s team represents and works with all types of individuals as well as all types of businesses from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. We focus on one-on-one relationships with our clients so we can ensure each individual receives the attention he or she deserves.



Contact us for all your Discrimination legal needs.