Harassed or Discriminated Against at Work?

Get An Experienced Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Attorney

Los Angeles Discrimination Lawyer

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 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.
  • 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 or assumed sexual orientation.
  • Age (40+). Employers in the United States may not discriminate against older employees, and there are specific legal protections in place for employees over the age of 40.
  • 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.
  • 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 refuse to hire 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.
  • Military Service. Unfortunately, some employers discriminate against applicants and employees on the basis of their past military service.

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. In most cases, the employee will begin the process of holding their employer accountable with a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).


The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws of the United States. If you believe you have grounds for a complaint regarding workplace discrimination or harassment, you must file a complaint with the EEOC before proceeding with any type of civil suit against your employer. The complaint filing process is relatively simple, but it is best to consult a Los Angeles discrimination attorney for help in this situation. Your legal team can help you construct a solid complaint with all the supporting documentation you will need to make a solid case.

After the EEOC receives your claim, an investigator is assigned to your case and will likely conduct a series of interviews with you, your employer, and co-workers who may be able to testify regarding the details of your complaint. If an employer refuses or fails to comply with the EEOC’s requests for information, they face severe penalties. Once the EEOC determines your claim to be valid, the agency will issue a Notice of Right to Sue that enables you to proceed with a civil suit against your employer. It’s also possible for the EEOC to initiate legal proceedings against the employer on behalf of the claimant.


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 if they are successful with their EEOC complaint. 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 the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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:

  • Back pay if you were wrongfully terminated. The employer could be compelled to pay you for the income you should have earned between the time of the incident in question and the date of your firing.
  • Reinstatement, if desired. Some wrongfully terminated employees want to return to their work free of harassment and discrimination, while others have no desire to return to work for employers who have mistreated them in the past.
  • Job search expenses. If you were forced to look for alternate work after your employer illegally discriminated against you, you can hold them responsible for the cost of signing up to job placement services and transportation to interviews.
  • Liquidated damages. Your attorney can help you seek liquidated damages equal to the total amount of your claimed economic damages to reflect the defendant’s discriminatory misconduct.
  • Legal expenses. You can hold the defendant in your suit accountable for the cost of bringing your action. If you have the right Los Angeles discrimination attorney representing you, they could effectively remove the cost of filing your case.
  • Compensation for your emotional distress. 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, as workplace discrimination is effectively a type of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

If you succeed with a discrimination suit against an employer in Los Angeles, not only are they responsible for your damages, but they are also likely to face fines and other penalties at the discretion of the EEOC and other oversight agencies.


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. While you have a relatively generous window of time in which to file your complaint to the EEOC, it is always best to start the process as soon as possible. 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 testimonies.

The Shirazi Law Firm, PC, has years of experience in California employment law, and we know the challenges you will face in your impending case. Our goal for every client is to help them understand all of their legal options for addressing the adverse experiences they have had with their employers and to maximize the compensation they obtain once they succeed with their EEOC complaints.

If you believe you have been harassed or discriminated against, call us now for a free confidential case evaluation at 310-299-8744 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.

Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after you do. Consultations/communications can be virtual if preferred.

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.