You may have a case involving unlawful discrimination if you believe you are being treated unfairly at work based on your race, gender, national origin, disability, perceived disability, record of a disability, age, religion, or sexual orientation. These are all protected classifications under the Federal statute, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and/or if you work in California, under the state's Fair Employment and Housing Act.
In order to prove discrimination, you need not have direct evidence of discrimination – rare in today's workplaces. Generally, you may prove discrimination by creating an inference of discrimination. To do so, you must show that you are similarly-situated to another employee who was treated more favorably than you were treated. So, for example, imagine you and another individual applied for jobs, and you were more qualified, but the other individual – not of your same race, sex, national origin, etc. – was hired. In that case, you could prove discrimination if the employer could not articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for hiring the other person, or if you could show that the employer's stated reason for not hiring you was false.
Sometimes, too, a whole group of people – say, people with disabilities, for example – is treated discriminatorily by being denied opportunities in the workplace. In other cases, a job requirement appears to be neutral, but actually impacts disproportionately one group of employees or potential employees – say, by making it harder on employees over 40, or employees who are of a particular national origin.
Please contact Bryan Schwartz if you believe you were subjected to any of these types of job discrimination and you need a lawyer's advice.
Be mindful of your deadline to file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or, if your situation arose in California, with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.