What is Discrimination?
On both state and federal levels, discrimination in hiring and firing is illegal. California provides more protection for employees than the federal government, proving you were terminated because of discrimination. In order to move forward with a wrongful termination suit based on discrimination, you must be able to show you were fired for one or more of these reasons:
- National origin
- Genetic information
- Medical condition
- Sexual orientation or identity
- Military or veteran status
- Mental or physical disability
- Marital status
One thing that often gets overlooked is that in some cases, where having a particular characteristic such as gender is required for the job itself, such as a locker room attendant, discrimination is not illegal.
What you will need to prove
- An employment relationship existed between you and your employer
- The existing relationship was terminated by your employer
- Your involvement in one of the protected classes listed above was a substantial and definite reason for why you were terminated.
There are two (2) ways to prove that you were discriminated against
If your employer says, “You are too old for this job, we’re firing you,” you have direct proof. This is the easiest type of discrimination case. However, because the law prohibiting discrimination is so clear, it is rare that an employer will be behave this way outright.
In the absence of direct proof, most successful cases of discrimination are proven using this method of indirect proof.
In this case, you must prove that you are qualified for the job and that other employees not in your protected class were not terminated. When the company responds with their reason for your termination, you must prove that their reason is false.
Since California is an at-will state, and you can be fired for any or no reason, proving discrimination can be very difficult. But this does not mean that making a case is impossible.
If you believe you were fired for being part of any of the protected classes listed above, contact us here for a free consultation. Our Long Beach employment attorneys have years of experience proving discrimination in firing, the Goldbach Law Group is here to help.