Unfortunately, California workers are not immune to workplace discrimination. Several cases have recently made headlines, and as a result, several articles involving changes to the laws regarding workplace discrimination have made headlines as well. Workers may be interested to learn of the changes taking place.

Some of the most talked about cases involve racial and religious discrimination. A number of specific cases were cited with examples such as an African American woman that felt she was harassed and made to feel intimidated because of her color. With the new laws coming into play, a case such as this will be harder to fight because the offense was by an employee, not a supervisor. New interpretations of discrimination law show that harassment charges are more likely to stick if they are by a supervisor rather than a coworker. 

To be considered a supervisor, that person must have authority to hire or fire the employee. They also must be primarily responsible for the employee’s daily duties. This can cause frustration for a person that feels they have been a victim of workplace discrimination. A victim of discrimination can at times feel emotionally overwhelmed. They may also feel trapped by fearing they could be fired if they come forward.

Any California resident that feels they have been a victim of workplace discrimination could benefit from taking a proactive approach. Since the laws are changing daily, it could be in a person’s best interest to have an understanding of the current laws. A worker can take comfort in knowing that if they can’t determine the best course of action to take on their own, there is help available to guide them in the right direction.

Source: American Civil Liberties Union, “The Supreme Court Limits Our Employment Rights…Again,” Christina Black and Deborah Vagins, July 03, 2013