Employment and Housing Discrimination

You have a right to seek employment and housing without discrimination. No person should be discriminated when seeking housing or by an employer for being who they are. If you or a loved one recently were discriminated against whilst seeking housing or by an employer, the Santa Rosa discrimination attorneys at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad can to help you recover financially. We’ll help with the legal process by answering your claims-related questions and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. 

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California Law Protects Your Right to Seek Employment or Housing With Discrimination

Under California law, the Fair Employment Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits discrimination in employment and housing. The California Legislature expressly declared in Government Code section 12921 that California’s have a civil right to seek employment or housing without discrimination, and that is is public policy to protect and safeguard said rights and opportunities. In regard to housing discrimination, because the Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in all business establishments of any kind whatsoever, and that provision includes persons engaged in the sale or rental of housing, Unruh Civil Rights claims can be brought with a FEHA claim. Under FEHA, you cannot be discriminated against because of your:

    • Race
    • Religious creed
    • Color
    • National origin
    • Age
    • Ancestry
    • Physical disability
    • Mental disability
    • Medical condition
    • Genetic information
    • Marital status
    • Gender
    • Gender expression
    • Gender identity
    • Sex
    • Sexual orientation
    • Military and veteran status

The agency that handle housing and employment discrimination in California is the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”), which prosecutes cases of discrimination. The Fair Employment Housing Commission (“FEHC”) rules on the cases. Both agencies enforce the provisions of FEHA through administrative proceedings. However, FEHA also provides a private cause of action to enforce complaints of housing or employment discrimination.

Title VII and FEHA – Federal and State Protection For Employees

In addition to FEHA, federal law also protects employee and housing discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII prohibits classification, selection, hiring, promotion, compensation, termination, or any other discrimination based on those protected classifications. Like California, Title VII established a federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), that investigates claims of employee discrimination. The Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and other house-related transactions on the basis of race or color, religion, sex, national origin, familia status, or disability. The FHA established a federal agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), that investigates claims of housing discrimination.

There are some differences between California’s FEHA and its federal counterparts. FEHA covers a broader group of protected characteristics in comparison to Title VII and the FHA, which is limited only to race, color, religion, sex, disability, or national origin. Additionally, Title VII applies to employers that employ fifteen (15) or more employees, whereas FEHA applies to employers that employ five (5) or more employees.

The Law Office of Kasra Parsad represents employees that have been discriminated against under Title VII and FEHA. To succeed on a claim, an employee who believes they were discriminated against must prove that the discrimination occurred because they were a member of a protected class. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, retaliated against, or discriminated because of your characteristics, contact a Santa Rosa employment law attorney today.

Common Examples of Employee and Housing Discrimination

Employee discrimination varies from case to case. Some common examples include:

    • Being passed on a promotion
    • Wrongful termination
    • Unequal Wages
    • Retaliation
    • Working conditions

Housing discrimination also varies from case to case. Some common examples include:

    • Refusal to sell, rent, or lease rooms, apartments, condos or houses to protected individuals
    • Refusal to negotiate for the sale, rental, or lease of housing
    • Denial of a home loan or homeowner’s insurance
    • Cancellation or termination of a sale or rental agreement
    • Sexual harassment involving unwanted sexual advances or requiring sexual favors for housing rights or privileges
    • Refusal to permit, at a disabled tenant’s expense, reasonable modifications when necessary to accommdate a disability
    • Retaliation against someone filing a complaint
    • And more

If you aren’t sure whether you were discriminated against or treated unfairly by when seeking housing or employment due to a protected characteristic, contact our Santa Rosa housing discrimination lawyer today to find out whether you have a viable claim.


How Do I Bring a Claim?

People who have been discriminated by an employer or in housing usually have to exhaust their administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit. For example, if you were discriminated by your employer, you would have to file a complaint with California’s DFEH or the Federal EEOC. 

In California, after filing a complaint, DFEH will investigate your employment discrimination claims and request your employer to respond to the allegations. If DFEH’s investigation concludes there was a violation of anti-discrimination laws, DFEH can file a lawsuit on your behalf against your employer. If you rather have an attorney handle your case, DFEH will provide you with a right-to-sue letter. If DFEH’s investigation determines no violations of California’s anti-discrimination law occurred, the complaint will be dismissed, but the employer still can file a lawsuit against their employer. 

An employer can request an immediate right-to-sue notice, but doing so means their complaint will not be investigated by the DFEH. Whether an employer chooses to go through the administrative process or not, they must have a right-to-sue letter before filing a lawsuit against their employer. 

What Damages Are Available For Employee or Housing Discrimination?

A successful FEHA claim provides a variety of remedies for victims of employment discrimination, including:

    • Back pay (past lost earnings)
    • Front pay (future lost earnings)
    • Hiring/reinstatement
    • Promotion
    • Out-of-pocket expenses
    • Policy changes
    • Training
    • Reasonable accommodation(s)
    • Damages for emotional distress
    • Punitive damages
    • Attorney’s fees and costs

Remedies for victims of housing discrimination include

    • Recovery of out-of-pocket losses
    • An injunction prohibiting the unlawful practice
    • Access to housing that the landlord denied you
    • Damages for emotional distress
    • Civil penalties or punitive damages
    • Attorney’s fees

How Long Do You Have To Bring a Claim?

Originally, the statute of limitations to file a FEHA claim was one year. However, effective January 1, 2020, AB 9 changed the law and now gives employees three years to file a discrimination claim with the DFEH. For housing discrimination, the statute of limitations to file a claim is one-year from the date of the discriminatory event.

How Can a Santa Rosa Civil Rights Attorney Help?

At our firm, we believe you should not have to accept being discriminated without a fight. You and your family deserve justice, answers, closure, and the right compensation when you are discriminated against based on your characteristics. We will do everything in our power to help you alleviate the pain and help you recover the compensation you need to move on with your life. Civil rights claims are often complicated and involve complex procedural requirements. A Santa Rosa civil rights attorney can help explain the requirements and guide you throughout the process. As soon as possible, you’ll want to contact our Santa Rosa civil rights attorney assess your options. You never know how a competent lawyer may be able to help you, so there is nothing to lose by getting in touch with our office. Our complimentary consultation comes at no cost and we work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay a cent unless we can recover for you.

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