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Los Angeles Workplace Discrimination Lawyer

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Every American employee in every industry has various legal protections in place at the federal level pertaining to their rights in the workplace. Each state also enforces its own workplace fairness laws, and California has some of the most robust legal protections in place in the entire county. One of the most important rights you have as an employee is your right to work free from harassment or discrimination.

Unfortunately, harassment and discrimination are still prevalent in today’s workplace. Being harassed or discriminated against can be a horribly demoralizing and degrading experience that no one should suffer. When you believe an employer has violated federal or state employment law, you need a Los Angeles discrimination attorney with experience handling cases like yours. The right legal counsel will make a tremendous difference in the outcome of the recovery efforts you pursue.


The term “discrimination” refers to an employer making any job-related decision on the basis of an applicant’s or an employee’s protected personal qualities. “Harassment” pertains to any mistreatment of a worker on the basis of their protected qualities. It is illegal for an employer to engage in discrimination or harassment; it is also illegal for them to allow discriminatory or harassing practices to persist in the workplaces they manage.

It is also unlawful for employers to allow a hostile work environment where employees are subject to actions, jokes, or comments based on one of the ten categories below. Moreover, employers cannot retaliate against an employee for reporting or complaining about such discrimination, pregnancy discrimination or sexual harassment. Filing a complaint regarding any illegal misconduct on an employer’s part is a legally protected action in California and throughout the United States. If you are fired after reporting workplace harassment or discrimination, you likely have grounds for even further legal recourse against your employer aside from your initial complaint.

If you have been harassed or discriminated against by an employer, you have the right to report this misconduct in good faith, and any illegal retaliation against you could lead to even more substantial compensation for you and more severe penalties for your employer. Some of the protected personal qualities that generally form the basis of most discrimination claims in Los Angeles include:

  • Race. Employers may not show preferential treatment or extend job-related benefits to specific employees on the basis of race, nor may they take adverse action against employees of a specific race.
  • National origin. Many people from all over the world come to the United States and Los Angeles specifically for work opportunities. Employers are not allowed to consider national origin in job-related decisions.
  • Medical Leave or Condition. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law allowing employees to take unpaid medical leave to address their medical emergencies and those of family members. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) functions similarly at the state level, providing baby bonding time for new parents in addition to job protection. Employers may not violate FMLA/CFRA rules, nor may they base their job-related decisions on an employee’s medical status or a request for medical leave made in good faith. In addition to these laws, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers provide reasonable accommodation for such disabilities and medical conditions—which include medical leave beyond the 12 weeks provided by the CFRA.
  • Sexual Orientation. The state has some of the most robust protections for LGBT employees in the country, and it is unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of an employee’s sexual orientation, assumed sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
  • Age (40+). Employers in the United States may not discriminate against older employees, and there are specific legal protections in place for employees age 40 or older.
  • Gender. Any type of discrimination on the basis of an employee’s sex, gender expression, or assumed gender expression is a form of sexual discrimination in California. This specifically includes sexual harassment.
  • Pregnancy. Employers may not make hiring or firing decisions on the basis of an employee’s pregnancy or any perceived risk the employee may become pregnant. Employers must also provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • Religion. It is unlawful for any employer to fire, refuse to hire, or make negative employment decisions for members of certain religions or show preferential treatment to members of a certain religion.
  • Disability leave of absence. If you must take a leave of absence due to a disability, the FMLA and CFRA provide job protection, ensuring you can return to your previous job once your disability leave ends. In addition to these laws, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers provide reasonable accommodation for such disabilities and medical conditions—which include medical leave beyond the 12 weeks provided by the CFRA.
  • Military Service. Unfortunately, some employers discriminate against applicants and employees on the basis of their past or current military service. This is illegal.

If you believe that your employer has discriminated against you for any of these reasons, it’s vital to speak with a Los Angeles discrimination attorney as soon as possible to determine your best options for legal recourse.


Your Los Angeles discrimination attorney will be invaluable for navigating the claim process successfully; they can also provide vital guidance in assessing the full scope of the damages you can claim from the defendant. Many people who experience workplace discrimination and harassment are unaware of the full scope of the damages they can secure from a defendant. While they may be able to recognize lost wages, lost benefits, and other economic losses, they also have the right to hold their employer accountable for their emotional distress and attorneys’ fees.

Some individuals, unfortunately, endure sustained periods of consistent abuse at work, and others face persistently hostile work environments due to their employers’ discriminatory practices. You have the right to hold your employer accountable for a wide range of damages, including:

  • Economic damages. If the employer illegally fired the employee, the employee is entitled to claim the wages and benefits they lost. It’s important to note that the FMLA and CFRA allow employees to take unpaid medical leave, so they cannot seek compensation for lost wages they would not have earned in the first place if their leave had been approved. However, if they are immediately fired after returning from leave, they would have the right to seek compensation for wages lost between the time of their firing and the time they filed their medical leave violation claim.
  • Emotional distress damages. Experiencing unlawful discrimination of any kind can be psychologically damaging and traumatic. State law allows you to claim reasonable compensation for the suffering you endured This number often times greatly exceeds the economic damages.
  • Legal fees. The defendant in your claim can be held responsible for the legal fees you incurred by bringing your case against them. If you hire the right Los Angeles FMLA attorney to handle your case, it will not cost you anything to bring your suit against your employer.
  • Punitive Damages. On top of economic and emotional distress damages, employers can be liable for punitive damages to punish the employer for their outrageous actions and deter them from ever doing it again.
  • Reinstatement. If the wrongfully terminated employee wants their job back, their Los Angeles FMLA attorney can help them secure reinstatement as an element of their case award. However, some employees will understandably have no desire to return to work for an employer who violated their rights.

If you succeed with a discrimination suit against an employer in Los Angeles, not only are they responsible for your damages, but also attorneys’ fees and potentially punitive damages.


Time is an important factor in any type of employment case, and it’s vital to meet all deadlines that apply to your case. Facing uncertainty regarding your income and your household’s financial stability can be very difficult, but securing reliable legal representation as soon as possible is the best option for any victim of workplace discrimination. This ensures the freshness of any evidence you must leverage in your case, and if you must secure witness statements from co-workers to support your discrimination claim, swift legal action helps ensure the reliability of their testimony.

The Shirazi Law Firm, PC, has years of experience in California employment law and we will handle everything for you.

If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against, call us now for a free confidential case evaluation at (310) 400-5891 for your free intake. You may also contact the Shirazi Law Firm online to schedule your consultation with our team, and we will let you know how our firm can assist you in holding your employer accountable for the discrimination you experienced.

“Emanuel Shirazi went above and beyond on my case. My employer treated me so unfairly and I felt like I had no where to turn. I met with Emanuel and he told me: I’ve got your back. This guy is a pit bull who never stops fighting for his clients. So glad he was on my side and not vice versa. Trust me, Emanuel won’t let you down.“



Founder Emanuel Shirazi is an employment lawyer in Los Angeles representing employees who have been legally wronged by their employers. In addition to representing employees, Mr. Shirazi used to defend employers while he worked at the largest employment law firms in the country. Thus, Mr. Shirazi knows the tricks of the trade of the other side and will use that to your advantage in your case. Mr. Shirazi’s experience helps him anticipate your employer’s defense and prepare accordingly.