- HOMEOWNERS’ RIGHTS
- LANDLORD & TENANT
Discrimination is not universally prohibited, and not all forms of discrimination are treated equally under the law. Courts will strictly scrutinize certain types of discrimination, such as that based upon race, while other types of discrimination are allowed if the employer can show a reasonable justification for favoring a certain group.
Both federal and state law prohibit various forms of discrimination, and a claim against an employer for unlawful discrimination can usually be pursued in either state or federal court. Certain claims, however, are exclusively within federal jurisdiction.
The law concerning discrimination is found in various statutes and cases and often applies different standards to different forms of discrimination. Categories of discrimination that the law recognizes include: [follow the link below for a detailed discussion]
There are various federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination and related practices. Among them:
TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 (Title VII) prohibits discrimination on basis of race, sex, religion or national origin.
CALIFORNIA’S FAIR EMPLOYMENT IN HOUSING ACT (FEHA) is a broad piece of anti-discrimination legislation found at California Government Code § 12900 et seq.
THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) enacted in 1990 and modified in 2009, provides protections to disabled individuals similar to that afforded under Title VII.
AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT (ADEA)
EQUAL PAY ACT / FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (FLSA) 29 U.S.C. §§ 215-218
CALIFORNIA EQUAL PAY LAW Labor Code § 1197.5 (which prohibits sex-based wage discrimination)
19TH CENTURY CIVIL RIGHTS ACTS 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 1983, 1985.
The private right of action is an essential means of obtaining judicial enforcement of Title VII, the FEHA and other anti-discrimination laws. Even when the EEOC or similar enforcement agency brings an action against an employer and loses, individual employees generally retain the right to bring an action based upon related charges.
When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted, it did not give the EEOC the right to issue administrative orders or otherwise truly enforce the provisions of Title VII. If the EEOC’s efforts came to a dead-end, then the Attorney General or private litigants had to sue to enforce the right violated. In the early 1970’s, congress gave the EEOC power to file suit in federal court after the conclusion of administrative procedures on a discrimination charge.
The EEOC has the power to investigate claims and a complaint to the EEOC is a prerequisite to an individual lawsuit in many cases.