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Someday, we will live in a society where nobody’s career is hampered by prejudice based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or anything of the things that makes each of us unique. But as we all know, prejudice is still a problem in California.

One way this affects people most directly is in the workplace. Many job applicants are turned down because their gender, race or disability status, rather than their qualifications for the job. Other times, workers find themselves subjected to sexual harassment, bigoted “jokes,” and other conduct that poisons the workplace. A hostile work environment can make victims feel unsafe or uncomfortable at the very place they spend a great deal of their workweek.

Their managers may also deny promotions, raises and other opportunities for employees of a certain group. This can cost victims money they deserve

This is against the law in California. Discrimination based on several traits, like race, pregnancy, age and national origin is not allowed. Workers affected by discrimination have the right to sue their employer for damages.

Many victims of employment discrimination are nervous about standing up for themselves, especially if they are worried about losing their jobs. This is understandable, but the law prohibits employers from firing people for reporting discrimination or harassment, which is called whistleblowing. Whistleblowers cannot be terminated or punished for reporting wrongdoing.

Someone dealing with employment discrimination has legal options. A meeting with an employment law attorney can help them weight their options, and decide what their best course of action may be.

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