Employment Discrimination and Harassment

The labor and employment law attorneys at Gaines & Gaines are frequently called upon to represent employees throughout California who have been the victim of employment discrimination or harassment. Our lawyers represent employees in civil litigation in state and federal courts, and in mediations and administrative hearings before boards and commissions such as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).


State and federal laws protect employees from being discriminated against based on a variety of characteristics. Employment discrimination refers to more than just hiring and firing and encompasses nearly every employment decision, from applications and interviews to assignments and transfers, promotions, pay, and benefits. The major laws and classes they protect include:

  • Title VII – race, color, national origin, sex, or religion
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – people with a disability, a record of a disability, or who are regarded as having a disability
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) – pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions must be treated the same as any other medical condition with respect to leave policies, health insurance, job assignments, etc.


Sexual harassment can occur when a supervisor demands sexual favors from a subordinate in return for positive job treatment (or threats of negative consequences if the employee refuses to comply). Sexual harassment need not only be based on this type of quid pro quo activity; any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which is so severe and pervasive that it creates a hostile work environment is also considered illegal harassment. In addition, it is not just a supervisor who can create a hostile environment – co-workers and even customers can create this atmosphere through inappropriate touching, obscene talk or gestures, graffiti, etc. This type of harassment can be perpetrated by females upon males as well as vice versa, and even among members of the same sex.

Seek Experienced Legal Counsel

Each employment-related law contains different protections, definitions, penalties, and mechanisms for enforcement. If you feel threatened at work or believe you may have been discriminated against, contact a qualified employment law attorney for advice. The labor lawyers at Gaines & Gaines are experience in this area of law. To have an attorney evaluate your claim, contact our firm today for a free initial consultation.

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