Dedicated Legal Representation Moving Forward & Making a Difference SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

Discrimination Attorney in Sherman Oaks, California

Working is a vital part of everyday life. Employees spend a majority of their time at work, which can provide workers with purpose, reinforcement, and focus. Unfortunately, when discrimination creates a hostile work environment and prevents fair treatment and advancement, the workplace can be stressful and unfulfilling. 

There are federal and state laws that protect your rights against discrimination. If an employee has been subjected to unfair treatment and fears potential job loss, has been wrongfully terminated, or has suffered discrimination or retaliation, they can turn to our experienced team at The Sweeney Law Firm, APC, for help. We possess a strong reputation for obtaining results for our clients in Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Northridge, and San Fernando Valley, California.

Facing Employee Discrimination?
Reach Out Today

Understanding Employee Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace may seem obvious, but it often is very subtle. Discrimination occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated less favorably because of characteristics such as their color, nationality, religion, or age. California employers are prohibited by law from engaging in discrimination, both at the state and federal levels.⁠

In addition to the federal laws that protect against discrimination, California employees are also protected by the laws enforced by the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under the FEHA, it is illegal for employers with five or more employees to discriminate against job applicants and employees or to retaliate against those that assert those rights. Additionally, the FEHA prohibits, in all workplaces, harassment based on a protected characteristic of an employee, applicant, unpaid intern, volunteer, or contractor. 

Types of Employee Discrimination

In California, employee discrimination is covered by the FEHA. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an individual based on protected characteristics, such as:

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Color

  • National Origin

  • Ancestry

  • Physical Disability

  • Mental Disability

  • Medical Condition

  • Genetic Information

  • Marital Status

  • Sex

  • Gender

  • Gender Identity

  • Gender Expression

  • Age (40 or older)

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Military and Veteran status

Discrimination in the workplace can affect anyone. Discrimination is not limited to minorities. Discrimination based on any of the above categories against anyone in California is unlawful in the workplace. Federal law also prohibits most types of discrimination in employment.


Employees in California are not only protected from discrimination but are also protected from workplace harassment. Harassment is unwelcome behavior and policies that are based upon the employee’s characteristics. Harassing behavior occurs whenever an employee:

  • Must work in an offensive environment as a condition of their employment

  • The offensive conduct or behavior is strong enough to create a hostile or intimidating work environment

Prohibited Conduct by Employers

Under the FEHA, there are several prohibited employment practices that an employer can engage in, this includes:

  • Demoting or firing workers because of their protected characteristic or their membership in a protected group

  • Refusing to hire a qualified worker

  • Refusing to promote a qualified worker

  • Adopting a company policy that disproportionately affects workers who have a certain protected characteristic.

  • Refusing to accommodate the religious or disability-related needs of certain employees.

  • Permitting employees to be frequently and severely harassed in the workplace.

  • Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation

  • Refusing to engage in a timely, good-faith interactive process with employees in need of a reasonable accommodation

  • Reducing pay

  • Denying a promotion

  • Denying reinstatement

  • Denying benefits

  • Forcing an employee to quit

  • Assigning different duties

The labor laws against employment discrimination are not limited to employers. Employment discrimination laws also apply to unions and labor organizations, which are prohibited from excluding, expelling, or restricting membership based on any of the above discriminatory categories. Discrimination prohibitions also apply to apprenticeship training programs and employment agencies.

Discrimination Attorney
Serving Sherman Oaks, CA

If you have lived with the hardships of being discriminated against at your job, you know just how awful the experience is. In these situations, you need to consult with our experienced team at The Sweeney Law Firm, APC, to protect your rights. Contact us at our Sherman Oaks office today. We proudly serve clients in Van Nuys, Northridge, and throughout the San Fernando Valley area of California.