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San Francisco Employment Discrimation LawyerWhat is Employment Discrimination?

It was a stunning case that forced an automaker to look at the way it treated employees. Week after week, over a period of months, a high-level executive would scream at an engineer who reported to him. But it was the way the manager tormented the employee that made headlines. Making inflammatory statements about the Lebanese-American engineer’s way of speaking English, the manager veered into employment discrimination territory. And the employee took the case to court and won a whopping $17 million. Workplace discrimination happens when a person in any given workplace chooses to treat someone in a particular category differently while they are performing their regular job duties.

Employment Discrimination Statistics

In America, employment discrimination is not a rare occurrence. It happens in all parts of the country, stretching from San Francisco to Sarasota. In 2018 alone, there were 76,418 charges filed with the EEOC. Of these charges, almost one-third were categorized as racial in nature, while another one-third were related to discrimination due to an employee’s sex. National origin discrimination accounted for 9.3%, while religion and color discrimination both hovered at around 4% each. It’s important to note that it’s not uncommon for employers to simultaneously engage in multiple types of discrimination. For instance, management may berate an employee for being disabled and a woman.

Sadly, retaliation for reporting this type of discrimination is on the rise. Just last year, it shot up to over 50%. Many employees are afraid to report these scenarios because they are concerned about either losing their jobs or being demoted — with good reason. And businesses understand just how costly these cases can be, so they will often aggressively pursue their legal options. In 2016 alone, companies paid out almost half a billion dollars to employees who made these claims.

Discrimination vs. Harassment

When you speak to an employment discrimination lawyer, they will probably attempt to discern whether your situation falls under discrimination or harassment. The example above of the executive berating the engineer qualified as workplace discrimination because it was, in fact, the responsibility of that manager to meet with the engineer regularly and assess his work. It was the vindictive and abusive nature of the assessments, however, that led to the discrimination ruling. The employee was able to prove that his previous reviews had been favorable — and that he was being treated differently because of his background.

In a harassment case, however, the person doing the harassing is taking actions outside of their regular job duties. An example of this would be a manager who repeatedly sends instant messages to an employee in his charge, asking her out on dates and making her feel uncomfortable. Because the instant messages are not related to work, it qualifies as harassment.

Types of Employment Discrimination

Whenever someone is treated poorly at work because of their race, age, physical disabilities, sex, orientation, religion or origin, employment discrimination comes into play. It’s crucial to note that these types of discrimination often occur before anyone even sets foot in an office. For instance, an HR manager may choose to exclude applicants because their names indicate a certain gender or ethnic heritage. The federal law expressly prohibits this, but many individuals operate in this manner for years before being stopped — if they’re ever stopped at all. Even during the preliminary hiring process, remember that you have the right to be treated the same as any other applicant.

Do I Need to Hire an Employment Discrimination Lawyer?

If you are even asking yourself this question, chances are that it would greatly behoove you to get in contact with an employment discrimination attorney. Whether you’re in San Francisco or Santa Fe, an attorney will be able to provide you with a more precise understanding of how the law applies to your particular situation. Because many lawyers in this field are willing to evaluate a case and initially consult with potential clients at no charge, this is a no-risk proposition. Most people who believe they’ve experienced employment discrimination have nothing to lose and everything to gain when it comes to speaking with an employment discrimination attorney. Remember that you are your own best advocate; if you don’t become proactive about your case and make that first step, it will fall by the wayside.

  • This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.
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When I was discriminated and denied a job for being pregnant, I was devastated, overwhelmed, mad and hurt. When I met with Mr. Lipinsky he let me know it was going to be ok, any questions or concerns he answered right away. He made me feel like a friend not just a client, someone I can talk to and would listen. He really looks for your best interest at heart. I looked around for other lawyers before finding Mr. Lipinsky, and he was the only one that trully explained everything to me in detail and spoke to me with the truth with anything and everything dealing with my case. With Mr. Lipinsky you don't only have a lawyer that will fight for what is entitled to you, but a friend that lets you know its ok and things like this happen to the best of us.

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