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What you don’t know about California employment law.

  • While Americans do not have the kind of protections for employees that most Europeans enjoy, if you live in California your protections as an employee are generally better than most employees living in other states.  California has its own version of civil rights laws that protect employees from unlawful discrimination, which are generally broader than the federal version of antidiscrimination laws.  The Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code § 12940 et seq. (FEHA) protects employees against unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation in ways that generally result in better outcomes for employees who have had their rights violated, as compared the federal anti-discrimination laws like Title VII.  Therefore, if you are an employee living in the Los Angeles or Orange County area and have issues with your employment, you need to contact an attorney who is experienced in California employment law.  Good employment attorneys should know when it is more advantageous to pursue a case under California law or the federal law. California has its own statutes protecting employees when it comes to pre-employment inquiries, discrimination, sexual harassment, medical leave, maternity leave, and disability issues, as well as many other issues.Many times California employment law is based upon federal law, but the California legislature has defined protections more broadly then federal statutes.  For example, the definition of an employee who is a “disabled” is much broader under California law.  Attorneys should always consider which law, federal or California, is the most advantageous for their client when pursuing a claim against an employer.  Many times the best answer is to bring a case for unlawful discrimination under both state and federal law simultaneously. If you have a question about whether your case should be brought against an employer based upon California or federal law, you should always consult with an experienced employment law lawyer for the answer.  Never assume that just because you are not aware of any protections for you particular employment situation based upon federal law, that none also exist under California law.  There are many situations where an employ can bring a lawsuit under California employment law, where no remedy exists under federal law. An overview of the protections in California Fair Employment and Housing Act can be found on The Department of Fair Employment and Housings website.  However, be aware that California provides many more protections and rights for employees under other statutes to include but not limited to the California Labor Code.  When trying to determine what rights and protections you have as an employee under California employment law you always need to consult an experienced employment law lawyer.  Also remember that many employment law attorneys in the Los Angeles and Orange county area will consult with you for free.  When looking for an attorney, always look for one who is experienced and knowledgeable about California employment law, and also one that offers free consultations.

If you think you have been wrongfully terminated, or have had your rights as an employee violated, please feel free to contact