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Frequently Asked Questions About California Employment Law

See Our FAQ or Speak With Our Employment Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles

As an employee in California, you have the right to work in a safe and comfortable environment. However, many employers violate California and federal employment laws on a consistent basis. Anyone suffering from employment discrimination, retaliation, or harassment (including sexual harassment) is entitled to pursue legal action. However, employment law claims are often complicated and require detailed knowledge of California and federal statutes and case law. Questions about your claim are inevitable. We have compiled a list of employment law questions that our lawyers are frequently asked, along with answers to each question. For an answer to a specific question about your situation, reach out to an employment discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles from our firm.

The Los Angeles employment attorneys at Yadegar, Minoofar & Soleymani, LLP, have decades of experience litigating claims involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Our Los Angeles employment law office understands the seriousness of your situation and will aggressively advocate for your legal interests. While problems at work are never easy, you can better prepare yourself by learning more about California and federal employment law. By providing you with important information, our attorneys hope that your knowledge of employment law will improve. This will help you be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the legal process.

California Employment Law Frequently Asked Questions

What Constitutes Disability Discrimination in California?

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) establishes the laws against discrimination, including disability discrimination against workers. California law defines a disability as “conditions that limit a major life activity,” including physical and mental disabilities. Disability discrimination takes place when an employer acts unfairly to an employee or applicant due to his or her disability. California law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for their disabled employees. However, they are not required to do so if the accommodations represent an undue hardship.

How Do I Determine If I am Entitled to a Reasonable Accommodation at Work?

Under California law, employers with five or more employees must provide reasonable accommodations for anyone with a mental or physical disability. However, employers are not required to do so if an accommodation results in an undue hardship. The FEHA requires an employer to “initiate an interactive process” in order to determine if a person is entitled to a reasonable accommodation. This process includes an individualized assessment of both the job and the specific limitations of the employee or applicant. This assessment will help determine if you are eligible to receive a reasonable accommodation for a specific job function.

Should I File a Claim After Being Replaced by My Employer While on Maternity Leave?

California law permits an employee to take leave for up to 12 weeks to care for a newborn child. Maternity leave is protected under California and federal law. This means that an employer must keep your position open until you return from maternity leave. If your employer permanently replaces you while you are on maternity leave, then you should consider legal action. If your termination was motivated by your pregnancy or maternity leave, then your employer is in violation of both California and federal discrimination law. You should immediately contact a Los Angeles pregnancy discrimination attorney and let them assist you in filing a claim.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Workplace Sexual Harassment?

The two types of sexual harassment under California law are “hostile work environment” and “quid pro quo.” California law defines hostile work environment sexual harassment as “unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” that is directed at an employee because of the employee’s gender. To prove hostile work environment sexual harassment, your claim must satisfy certain criteria. First, you must have evidence proving that the sexual conduct was unwelcome. Second, the sexual conduct needs to be severe or pervasive. In other words, it must last over an extended period of time and affect your ability to do your job, or be particularly bad enough that even with one incident, it affects your ability to do your job.

The other way you can establish hostile work environment sexual harassment is if your employer provides less favorable conditions of employment to you than to your different-sex co-workers simply because of your gender status. This can include discriminatory hiring procedures, hours, wages, promotions, work schedules, work assignments, vacation or sick leave benefits, job evaluation, discipline, and termination (firing). To prove quid pro quo sexual harassment, you have to show that a supervisor or manager demands sexual favors from you in return for employment, continued employment, or employment benefits such as promotions or raises. Our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers will help you compile evidence and determine if your claim meets the legal standard for workplace sexual harassment.

How Do I Know When My Employer Has Retaliated Against Me?

California law, including the FEHA, prohibits retaliation based on certain protected conduct. In other words, your employer cannot punish you for engaging in protected workplace activities. In order to prove that your employer retaliated against you, your claim must satisfy certain criteria. The first step involves proving that you engaged in a protected workplace activity, such as reporting discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. Secondly, you must have evidence proving that your employer made a “materially adverse action,” such as a decision to demote or fire you. Finally, you must establish a connection between your protected activity and your employer’s adverse reaction. If your claim meets these standards, then your employer has likely engaged in workplace retaliation.

Can I File a Wrongful Termination Claim After Being Fired by My Employer?

Under California law, your employer cannot fire you if doing so would violate the terms of your employment contract or violate California public policy. Your employer firing you for discriminatory reasons or for exercising certain legal rights constitutes wrongful termination. Legal action should be pursued if this occurs. Depending on the circumstances, you may first have to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). That complaint must be filed within one year of the termination (or other wrongful conduct). After receiving a right-to-sue letter, you have one year to file a wrongful termination claim in state court. Our top Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyers will help ensure that you are meeting the necessary legal deadlines.

How Does Being an At-Will Employee Affect My Employment Law Claim?

California is an at-will work state. This means that your employer can fire you for any reason (or no reason), so long as the reason is not illegal. California and federal law protect employees from certain kinds of termination. You cannot be fired for discriminatory reasons, such as being the member of a protected class. Your employer also cannot fire you for engaging in protected workplace activities (retaliation). Finally, if your contract states that you can only be fired for good cause, then your employer must follow this. If you are fired for any of these reasons, then you should contact the best employment discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles.

Can I File a Workplace Harassment Claim If I Was Harassed by My Employer Outside of Work?

Workplace sexual harassment does not always stop after work is over. Harassment by your coworkers, supervisor or employer can occur after hours. The location of the harassment does not prevent you from reporting the incident or taking steps to hold the person accountable. California law does not place geographic restrictions on workplace sexual harassment claims. It also does not place a distinction between on and off-the-clock time. As long as a working relationship continues to exist, then gender-based harassment is prohibited by law. Our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers will help you file a harassment claim and can provide you with more information about this topic.


You deserve to work in an environment free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. If this is not the case, then you should consider pursuing legal action. Contact the Los Angeles employment attorneys at YMS today at (310) 499-0140 for a free initial evaluation. You can also contact us online and provide us with information about your case.