Skilled California Attorneys Help Employers Face Discrimination Claims

Experienced Alameda County lawyers assist with EEOC and DFEH complaints

A claim of discrimination or harassment can damage a company’s reputation even if there is not enough evidence to substantiate the claim in court. The attorneys at Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation in Pleasanton understand what is at stake, and are prepared to move swiftly to resolve serious accusations filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). How you initially react to a legal action based on purported employment discrimination can affect your entire case. We represent Silicon Valley employers during arbitration, mediation, administrative hearings and litigation.

Trusted counselors advise employers on obligations to protected employees

California employees have a right to a workplace free from danger and discrimination. Employment discrimination occurs when an employee or potential employee is treated differently or less favorably than others because of their membership or perceived membership in a protected class.

In California, it is illegal for an employer with five or more employees to discriminate against an employee based on their:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Age
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Ancestry
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy
  • HIV or AIDS status
  • Genetic information
  • Medical condition
  • Military or veteran status
  • Political activities or affiliation

Height and weight are also protected classes in San Francisco.

Unlawful discrimination can take many different forms. It is illegal to make hiring, firing, job assignments, promotion, training or compensation decisions based on a person’s protected class. Discrimination may also involve harassment or the existence of a hostile work environment.

Our seasoned employment law attorneys will review the worker’s complaint and explain the potential costs and benefits of fighting the claim or negotiating a settlement.

Accomplished firm handles common employment discrimination claims

Despite your best intentions, legal questions based on discrimination charges can still arise. Some of the most commonly seen discrimination complaints are related to:

  • Disability — The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations unless doing so would cause undue hardship. An accommodation is defined as any change in the workplace that would enable an individual with a disability to enjoy equal opportunity. Reasonable accommodations can include modifications or adjustments to the work environment, the way a position is customarily performed or the job application process.
  • Age — The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits discriminatory practices against employees over the age of 40. An employee who is forced out of a job or denied opportunities because of their age may have a valid employment discrimination case.
  • Race — Use of racial slurs or derogatory remarks about a person’s race, skin color, hair texture or other personal characteristics associated with race are examples of racial discrimination. Assigning someone to a certain location or job based on their race is also discrimination.
  • Sexual harassment — Alleged misconduct that gives rise to a sexual harassment claim may be verbal, physical or reflected in online communications. Unwelcome advances, offensive remarks and requests for sexual favors are sexual harassment. An employer is responsible for protecting employees from harassment by supervisors, co-workers and non-employees. Individual harassers and employers may both be held liable for damages. Even if an employer is unaware of a supervisor’s sexual harassment, the employer might be liable. 

When defending against a discrimination claim, our attorneys review the facts and work to establish that an employer’s actions were based on reasonable factors other than an employee’s status within a protected class.

Strategic attorneys counter accusations and negotiate fair settlements

When an employment discrimination claim is made, the burden of proof is on the accuser. To prove that their rights were violated, an employee will need to provide evidence. This evidence may include emails, job postings, recordings, witness testimony, job performance records, client recommendations and comparisons to the treatment of other employees, among other forms of documentation.

An employer that is found to have violated an employee’s rights may be ordered to reimburse the employee for back pay, emotional distress, attorney’s fees and other expenses. The employer may also be ordered to hire, reinstate or promote the employee, or to provide job training.

Sound counsel from a knowledgeable lawyer can help you address discrimination actions effectively and avoid costly mistakes. We can examine the details of the complaint and determine if there is a less hostile way of resolving the conflict. Having represented both employers and employees, we understand the tactics and strategies employee-side lawyers use to handle disputes.

Contact a committed Silicon Valley employment discrimination defense attorney today

Based in Pleasanton, California, the employment discrimination defense attorneys of Garcia & Gurney, A Law Corporation help employers put forth strong and strategic responses to discrimination claims. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call 813-835-3800 or contact us online.