San Francisco Employment Law Attorneys

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San Francisco Employment Law Attorneys

California employers are prohibited by both state and federal law from treating employees unfairly because of their race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, familial status, age, or disability. While many employers fail to abide by these rules and discriminate in hiring, promoting, and firing based on these protected characteristics, they can be held liable for their failure to comply with the law. If you were discriminated against at work, it is important to contact experienced San Francisco employment law attorneys who can advise you.

Discrimination in Employment

Employees in California are protected from discrimination in the workplace by a wide range of federal and state laws. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, for instance, legally prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their: color, national origin, race, religion, or sex. Prohibited conduct includes:

  • Making inappropriate jokes, using racial slurs, or displaying offensive symbols;
  • Making unwelcome sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, or verbally or physically harassing an employee;
  • Refusing to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious belief or segregating certain individuals because of their religious practices;
  • Paying equally-qualified employees different salaries even if their position is the same;
  • Excluding applicants during recruitment;
  • Specifying an age preference in job advertisements; and
  • Refusing to hire a woman who is pregnant.

This conduct is also outlawed by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).

Outright discrimination is not the only type of conduct that is prohibited in the workplace, as these laws also protect employees from less obvious, and more subversive forms of discrimination. It is, for instance, unlawful for an employer to create a job policy that negatively affects the employability of certain employees or applicants if that policy is not necessary to the business’s operation and is also not job-related. This is true even if the employment policy in question technically applies to everyone.

Wage and Hour Laws

Federal and state law also requires that employers meet certain standards when it comes to payment. For instance, all hourly employees must be paid at least $7.25 for every hour that they work, unless they exceed eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, in which case, employees must be paid at one and one-half times their usual rate. The minimum wage is even higher in California, as it was recently raised to $12.00 for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $13 per hour for establishments with 26 or more employees. It may be higher still in certain cities in California; the minimum wage in San Francisco, for example, is $16.07 (as of July 1, 2020). In situations like this, where the federal minimum wage standard is significantly lower than the state standard, employers are required to pay the higher of the two amounts. California law also states that employees who work more than 12 hours per day must be paid at twice their normal rate.

Employees whose employers do not comply with wage and hour laws have the option of:

  • Filing a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement; or
  • Filing a lawsuit against their employer in court.

Please call us today to learn more about which course of action is right for you.

Call Our San Francisco Office Today

If your employer is violating state or federal employment law practices, please call the San Francisco employment law attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber LLP to speak with a member of our legal team about your options.


(415) 484-0980


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