A California worker has the right to a workplace that is free from harassment, discrimination and any type of mistreatment related to his or her religion. Despite the laws shielding individuals from unfair treatment, religious discrimination is still a very real, very serious problem.

If you experienced any type of discrimination in the workplace, you may feel intimidated or overwhelmed by your current situation. Many workers do not report these instances because they may fear further mistreatment or retaliation. If you are unsure if what you experienced is actual discrimination or if you want to take legal action against your employer, you do not have to walk through this complicated process alone.

How can you know if you experienced religious discrimination?

The Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits the discrimination of any individual on the basis of his or her race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or other factors. It can be difficult to determine if you experienced discrimination, especially in a world where many employers are politically correct and more perceptive than ever.

You may have valid grounds for a legal claim if you experienced any of the following in the workplace, either from an employer or from a co-worker:

  • Inappropriate questions about religious wear
  • Negative generalizations about your religious practices
  • Hostile comments or threats
  • Exclusion from group projects or meetings
  • Passed over for deserved promotions
  • Inappropriate jokes or remarks
  • Unfair pay or failed payment of earned wages

With the help of an attorney, you may be able to bring unfair practices to light, as well as hold the employer accountable for inappropriate actions or for allowing a hostile or discriminatory work environment. The best way for you to gain a complete understanding of your rights and options is to seek help as soon as you believe that religious discrimination occurred.

Fighting back against unfair treatment

California victims of any type of employment discrimination may be eligible for certain types of financial and legal remedies. These include:

  • Back pay
  • Reinstatement
  • Promotion
  • Punitive damages
  • Attorney fees
  • Reasonable accommodations
  • Policy changes

Whether you want compensation, vindication or the assurance that what you experienced will never happen to another person, you can accomplish your legal goals and obtain the remedies needed to move forward. You have the right to pursue a prosperous career and work in a physically and emotionally safe environment, regardless of your religious practices.


A bartender from Los Angeles, California, is seeking compensation for wrongful termination after she was allegedly fired from her job for wearing outfits that were too conservative. The woman, who was pregnant at the time of her termination, is alleging that the owners of The King’s Head II pub on Ventura Boulevard discriminated against her because of her wardrobe choices and the fact that she was planning to have a child.

The owners of the facility are facing allegations of pregnancy discrimination, along with negligence, wrongful termination, failure to prevent discrimination and infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. The woman is seeking unspecified monetary damages in connection with the employment-related claims.

Reports show the woman was hired in May 2012 at the pub, which features waitresses in shorts and skirts. The woman said she preferred to wear pants, but it does not appear that her decision was against regulation attire. Just one month after the woman told her bosses she was pregnant, she was fired, even though she had never had complaints about poor job performance. In addition, she only told one person about her pregnancy – her supervisor – and he subsequently fired her.

The woman’s attorneys allege that she was fired simply because she was pregnant and refused to wear skimpy clothing to work. The woman also has evidence of a text message that said that the woman would be a bad employee because she could not carry heavy trays of food during her pregnancy.

It is against the law for any employer to discriminate against a woman who is pregnant or intending to become pregnant. An employment attorney may help women retain their rights in the workplace by holding employers accountable for their negligence.

Source:, “Pregnant Studio City bartender fired because she wore pants, didn’t look like ‘California hooker,’ suit alleges” No author given, Oct. 09, 2013


Whistleblower laws were designed to protect employees when they feel the need to report wrongdoing in the workplace. They could be reporting fraud, a breach of safety regulations or reporting on employment issues like sexual harassment or discrimination. In any case, they need to be free to take appropriate action without fear of losing their jobs, which is why these laws were passed in California.

Did you know, though, that the way that you complain sometimes determines whether or not you are protected from a boss’s retaliation? It’s very important to follow the letter of the law so that you don’t accidentally invalidate those protections and end up getting demoted or fired.

For instance, some regulations say that you must go to a superior and turn in a written account of your complaint. Others say to ignore your supervisor and instead report directly to a government agency. Still others say that just objecting to what is happening and refusing to participate on your own is enough.

As a rule of thumb, you typically want to write down all of your complaints. For example, you may find out that you just need to talk to your boss in person, without a formal written complaint. Still, it does not hurt to make multiple copies of a written complaint and then take them along when you file the verbal complaint. This hard copy ensures that your side of the story is well represented, meaning it’s harder for a boss to claim anything else happened.

You shouldn’t have to worry about retaliation when you do the right thing, and it’s wise to know exactly how to do this, from a legal perspective, to protect yourself and your career.

Source: AOL, “4 Times When You Should Complain About Your Boss,” Donna Ballman, accessed May. 22, 2015


Many of our readers have often read stories about employees who were retaliated against after making complaints about sexual harassment. Those many posts might have some of our California readers wondering what constitutes retaliation. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are several actions by an employer that constitute retaliation.

It is important to note that retaliation might be the result of several actions, including making complaints about sexual harassment. It can be because of a complaint about discrimination, opposing discriminatory actions or taking part in a proceeding regarding discrimination. It doesn’t matter what the discrimination is based on. It can be discrimination because of gender, color, race, age, national origin or disability.

Firing, demoting, harassing, coercing, intimidating, threatening, harassing or taking adverse actions against a person who files a complaint or participates in those complaint proceedings is against the law. That means that employers can’t deny the person a promotion, terminate his or her employment or try to get back at him or her using a variety of other methods.

People who think they are being retaliated against should understand that adverse actions backed up by things like a poor work performance history or similar factors wouldn’t necessarily be considered retaliation. With that in mind, it is important for employees to continue to do a good job at work even if they feel like they are the target of adverse actions.

When you start to think about it, determining what is retaliation might take some research and some scrutinizing. Working with someone familiar with retaliation claims might make the process a little easier.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Facts About Retaliation” Dec. 29, 2014


Some people think that if you get fired from a job in California, 0you don’t have any recourse possible against the employer. While that is true in some cases because of the at-will relationship between employers and employees, there are some instances in which being fired would fall under the legal umbrella of wrongful termination. Knowing some basic facts about wrongful termination might help you to determine if your being relieved of your position was legal or illegal.

Can I be fired for making a complaint about discrimination?

Generally, you cannot be fired for filing a complaint about discrimination. California, as well as other states, have laws that forbid discrimination in the workplace. There are also federal laws in place to stop people from being fired because of any form of discrimination. If you are let go because you brought a discrimination complaint against the company, that is considered retaliation, which falls under the wrongful termination laws.

Can I be fired for refusing to do something illegal?

In most cases, being fired for refusing illegal activities would be considered wrongful termination. Illegal activities aren’t limited to those that involve activities such as selling drug or laundering money. Illegal activities can also be things like failing to follow established safety guidelines.

Can I be fired for taking a leave from my job?

Employers can’t fire you for taking a leave from your job as long as the leave falls under certain laws and you executed the leave in the proper manner. You have rights that are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act as long as your case meets the requirements set forth in the law. Taking time off to vote or handle military duty matters are some other examples of what shouldn’t lead to you being fired from your job.

It is important to note that specific cases are likely to have very specific points that might make the matter of proving wrongful termination a little more complex. For this reason, anyone who feels like they have been wrongfully terminated should learn more about the laws that might apply to their case.

Source: FindLaw, “Was I Wrongfully Discharged From My Job?” Sep. 04, 2014


If you are an older Californian who is looking for work, you might simply be out of luck. That is the message that is being promoted after the release of a recent study showing that laws do little to protect workers from the ravages of age discrimination. State mandates are reportedly quite impotent against the tide of younger workers that is sweeping through industry, often leaving older employees behind. Older workers tend to suffer longer terms of unemployment, even though federal legislation has been passed to prevent discriminatory hiring.

The study, conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, shows that older workers are actually suffering more employment woes in states with the strongest anti-discrimination laws. Although the practice is illegal, it appears that employers are generally flouting the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, designed to protect older workers from discriminatory hiring. As a consequence, a growing population of older workers are simply giving up their job search.

Experts say that violations of the age discrimination mandates may have actually been sparked by the Great Recession. Prior to that economic downturn, discrimination statutes had been generally accepted by industry, and companies appeared to be complying with the mandates. However, it appears that employers used the recession as an excuse to unload some of their older workers who were nearing retirement. Uncertain financial conditions may also have caused older workers to suffer longer periods of joblessness.

Employment law cannot be tossed aside simply because it is not convenient for employers. These companies need to be held accountable for their intentional discrimination against older workers. Policymakers are suggesting changes that could give the law more teeth, but older workers must stand up against this discrimination in the interim by holding companies responsible through the civil court system.

Source: The Inquirer, “No help for older unemployed” Lucia Mutikani, Reuters, May. 11, 2014


Two police officers who were acquitted of criminal charges in a beating death may not get their jobs back. In total, three men were fired from a West Coast police department for the death. One of the men was not involved in the trial. Still, all three were dismissed from their former jobs. All three men had made appeals to be reinstated after they were fired. One man has also made an informal wrongful termination claim, though it does not appear that a civil case has been initiated.

City council members in the town have been threatened with recall if they reinstate the officers. Violent protests have even broken out because of the officers’ acquittal. The city council will provide the final decision in the employment matter. The officers have a right to consult an independent arbitrator. That entity will submit a report to the council for consideration.

The men may still face criminal charges from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for potential violation of the decedent’s constitutional rights. The men are accused of beating a homeless man to death in 2011. Statements from the department police chief indicate that the men were not fired because of the criminal proceedings. That man said he had used other criteria to terminate their employment. He also intends to ‘vigorously defend’ his decision.

Even though the men were acquitted in the case, they still lost their jobs. The police chief did not explain in detail why the department had a legitimate cause for termination. Employees should not be subject to discrimination simply because they were involved in a criminal trial. Those who have been acquitted in a criminal trial should enjoy employment protection. Qualified Florida employment attorneys may be able to help workers who think they were fired without a legitimate cause for termination.

Source: Daily Titan, “Police chief will not rehire officers involved in Kelly Thomas beating, council will make final decision in appeal” Samuel Mountjoy, Jan. 22, 2014


A federal judge has ruled that a California social worker cannot successfully file all claims in a retaliation case against the hospital that fired her because she received a death threat. The woman, who had worked at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, was disciplined because she acted on a rumor that a patient of another therapist said he wanted to murder her. The woman had sought a restraining order against that patient, even though she was subject to disciplinary action because she inappropriately looked at the man’s medical records. The woman had been seeking compensation for retaliatory discharge in connection with the case.

Further, the woman alleged that Kaiser Permanente let her go in May 2012 after she reported a dangerous workplace environment. Her employer accused her of permitting a suicidal patient to travel to a hospital without supervision.

The judge in the case dismissed two of eight counts in the matter, determining that breach of contract and retaliation did not occur. He said that the social worker did not provide sufficient evidence that violation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act had occurred in this instance. Further, the woman is not protected by her union’s collective-bargaining terms, which expired before the alleged retaliatory actions.

The woman is still seeking financial compensation for emotional distress, wrongful termination, discrimination and a variety of other employment-based concerns. In this case, she is prevented from filing certain claims because of the nature of the evidence. However, since she can still pursue damages for other wrongs, the case has not been dismissed entirely. Victims who have been exposed to workplace safety violations, discrimination or harassment may benefit from consulting a California employment attorney. Those professionals can help workers learn more about their legal rights and provide them with the information they need to maximize the outcome of their cases.

Source: Courthouse New Service, “Ex-Kaiser Worker’s Retaliation Claim Nixed” Barbara Leonard, Dec. 26, 2013


A California English teacher is alleging that Hesperia Unified School District fired her because she helped LGBT students. The woman claims that she was subject to retaliatory action after she assisted students who wanted to file complaints against their teachers and administrators. The school is denying all of these allegations, saying instead that it had the right to dismiss the woman under probationary teacher hiring policies.

Even though the school argued that she was terminated through proper legal action, the woman said she believes she was fired because of her sexual orientation as a lesbian, along with her involvement with the LGBT student community at Sultana High School. Administrators at the district say they are being treated unfairly by a former employee who is causing unnecessary controversy.

The woman was reportedly held in high esteem among her supervisors, receiving excellent performance reviews up until a critical point: She involved the ACLU in a series of complaints against LGBT students. The ACLU also argued that the district was mistreating the members of the Sultana High School Gay Straight Alliance, according to reports. Interestingly, the woman’s performance was only called into question after those advocacy efforts were revealed.

As a result, the woman claims that she was subject to discrimination, retaliation and harassment during her time at the school. The woman was only trying to help LGBT students by supporting their legal rights.

This case comes in the midst of a national employment law debate that is pushing for increased rights for LGBT employees in all sectors. Currently, it is not against federal law to fire someone because of one’s sexual orientation. Changes in the national legal climate may cause this philosophy to be discarded, however. LGBT employees who have been unfairly dismissed or retaliated against still have legal options in the state of California. Qualified employment attorneys can advise discrimination or retaliation victims about their rights, allowing them to recover damages from employers who have treated them inappropriately.

Source:, “District denies retaliation against teacher who helped LGBT students” Beau Yarbrough, Nov. 19, 2013


It may be hard to believe that racism in the workplace is still a deciding factor for many employees’ ability to work; after all, this is 2013, and we should be more enlightened, right? Sadly, racial discrimination suits are anything but uncommon in the state of California, with another civil case making an appearance against Menlo College this month. A former executive at the college is seeking financial compensation for retaliation, unfair business practices and racial discrimination in connection with his departure from the school.

The man alleges that he was targeted in 2011 when his supervisor was promoted to the president’s position at the school. The victim in this case was the chief financial officer at the school. He revealed financial mismanagement that was occurring under the new administration’s watch, including inappropriate use of federal aid money and false reporting on tax forms. The man alleges that his performance reviews, which had been “above average,” suddenly dropped, and his position was subsequently stripped of its prestige and pay. Instead, the president and a new vice president proposed that the man serve as a “budget director,” which paid significantly less than his existing job. When the man refused to be demoted, he was fired.

Before the man ever accepted the CFO position, he said his supervisor made racially charged comments during recruiting meetings. The supervisor insinuated that he was hiring the victim simply because of his race. He said Filipino workers tended to be more loyal than other populations, according to courtroom documents.

The man alleges that the president of the school was angry because his employee did not follow his racial stereotypes for Filipinos. In addition, the man’s job was eliminated because he chose to report federal financial violations as mandated by law. Menlo College representatives deny all allegations related to the claim, calling the suit baseless. It is not clear how much money the man is seeking in connection with the violations.

Source:, “Suit accuses Menlo College of racism and retaliation in firing CFO” Bonnie Eslinger, Sep. 11, 2013