Marital status should have no bearing on how you are treated at work. But discrimination based on whether someone is single, married, divorced, or widowed still persists. Unfair treatment due to your relationship status is against the law in California.
If you have experienced marital status discrimination, you may be entitled to significant compensation. An employment law attorney at TONG LAW can review your situation and help you understand your rights. With strong legal representation and compelling evidence, employees can hold discriminatory employers accountable.
Contact us today if your workplace rights have been violated.
Marital Status Discrimination Takes Many Forms
Employment discrimination based on marital status can manifest in overt and subtle ways. Here are some prohibited discriminatory practices:
- Refusing to promote or provide training opportunities to an employee after they get divorced
- Providing less comprehensive health benefits to unmarried versus married workers
- Enforcing more stringent policies regarding bereavement leave for unmarried partners
- Making demeaning remarks or engaging in harassment related to one’s relationship status
- Reducing compensation for widows under the assumption they have less financial responsibility
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from treating employees differently or making adverse decisions based on their marital status. Workers have legal recourse against such unlawful actions.
Pursuing Financial Compensation for Your Case
Workers who experience marital status discrimination have legal options to pursue compensation under FEHA and federal anti-discrimination laws. With an employment attorney’s counsel, they can recover:
- Lost wages due to wrongful termination or failure to promote
- Reinstatement to their prior role or front pay in lieu of reinstatement
- Damages for emotional distress resulting from the discrimination
- Punitive damages to deter willful and egregious violations
While financial remedies cannot reverse discriminatory treatment, they provide critical recognition of employees’ legal rights. Experienced attorneys can help maximize compensation.
Building a Strong Case With Solid Evidence
To prove marital status discrimination occurred, compelling evidence must demonstrate how the employer’s actions were discriminatory and resulted in adverse impact. Employees need concrete documentation that shows the employer engaged in practices that treated workers differently or made decisions based on their marital status, violating anti-discrimination laws.
Written policies and handbooks that differentiate between single, married, divorced, or widowed employees provide clear proof of bias. Emails, voicemails, or other communications that exhibit prejudice against certain marital statuses also demonstrate unlawful actions.
Personnel records can reveal discriminatory patterns through comparisons of how married and unmarried workers were evaluated, promoted, disciplined, or compensated. Performance reviews or qualifications evidencing an employee was denied a promotion or other opportunity despite positive evaluations will strengthen their case. With evidence of adverse impact, victims can prove their rights were violated and obtain justice.
Legal Protections Against Marital Discrimination
There are several key laws at the federal and state level that protect employees from discrimination based on their marital status.
While no federal statute explicitly prohibits marital status discrimination, protections have been established through the interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other laws:
- Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination has been applied to discrimination based on being married or single. For example, refusing to hire a married woman based on assumptions about pregnancy could violate Title VII.
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits compensation discrimination between married and unmarried employees of the opposite sex performing equal work at the same establishment.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act grants unpaid job-protected leave rights to unmarried partners to care for their significant other.
- Federal employees have specific protections against marital status discrimination under the Civil Service Reform Act.
California Fair Employment and Housing Act
At the state level, the FEHA expressly forbids discrimination based on marital status. FEHA protects all employees and applicants regardless of whether they are single, married, divorced, or widowed. It ensures equal treatment in the California workplace.
Federal precedents combined with FEHA’s clear protections provide employees with legal recourse against marital status discrimination in the workforce.
How a Marital Discrimination Lawyer Can Help
If you have experienced discrimination based on your marital status, consulting with a marital discrimination attorney from the outset is crucial. Legal counsel can provide invaluable help, including:
Reviewing the Specifics of Your Case
Your attorney will examine the particular circumstances and actions to assess the strength of potential discrimination claims. They can identify the most viable legal avenues to pursue.
Counseling You on Your Rights
Experienced employment law attorneys understand the protections that exist under FEHA, Title VII, and other anti-discrimination laws. They can clearly explain your rights in the situation and relief you may be entitled to.
Assisting With Filing Complaints
Your lawyer can help craft persuasive complaints to the CRD or EEOC, maximizing your chances of a successful outcome. They know the critical information to include.
If the prospect of settlement arises, your attorney can advise you on a fair amount based on factors like lost wages, emotional distress, and potential punitive damages. They handle negotiations to protect your interests.
Preparing a Strong Lawsuit
If necessary and advisable, skilled employment litigators know how to build and argue a compelling case in court to establish that marital discrimination occurred and your right to substantial remedies.
With an attorney’s legal skill and advocacy, employees can pursue justice and enforce their equal treatment rights under the law. Their counsel makes navigating the complexities of employment discrimination claims accessible.
Act Fast: Time Limits on Pursuing Marital Status Discrimination Claims
Time limits imposed by laws and regulations constrain how long employees have to take action after experiencing marital status discrimination. By waiting too long, they risk losing the ability to pursue their claims and hold employers accountable.
In California, victims typically must file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing within 3 years of the unlawful discrimination. Federally, a charge must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days to preserve the right to file a lawsuit. These strict deadlines underscore the importance of promptly consulting with knowledgeable counsel.
An attorney can provide guidance on compliance with applicable time limits, ensure filings contain necessary information, and identify the strongest angles for seeking relief. Employees should not delay in addressing unlawful marital status discrimination, or they may forfeit key legal avenues to fight workplace injustice. Timely action is essential to enforce your rights.
Don’t Wait – Assert Your Rights Today With TONG LAW
Marital status discrimination denies employees equal opportunities in the California workplace. But legal protections exist to pursue justice. With an employment law attorney’s counsel, you can hold employers accountable for unlawful discrimination based on your marital status. Experienced representation maximizes your chances of prevailing and recovering rightful compensation.
TONG LAW has helped numerous clients fight back against illegal marital status discrimination at work. We understand these intricate claims and know how to build strong cases. Don’t wait to get legal help asserting your rights. Contact us for a confidential consultation today – we’re ready to fight for the justice you deserve.