Attorney to File a Marital Status Lawsuit Against My Employer

Attorney to File a Marital Status Lawsuit Against My Employer

If your employer has taken action against you because of your marital status, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against them and collect the damages to which you are entitled. The California Employment Attorneys Group can help represent you if you believe that you have become a victim of marital status discrimination in the workplace.

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), it is against the law for employers to discriminate against a person under their employment because of their marital status. Cal. Gov. Code 12940(a) states that ” It is unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire; to discharge or to terminate; to refuse to select or to bar or discharge an employee from a training program leading to employment; or to discriminate against the person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.”

The law defines “marital status” as “an individual’s state of marriage, non-marriage, divorce or dissolution, separation, widowhood, annulment, or other marital state.” This also includes things like being a single mother and single father.

For example, an employee has been subject to marital status discrimination if the company for which she works does not give maternity leave to unmarried or single mothers, then that employee has experienced marital status discrimination and has the right to file a marital status lawsuit against her employer.

If you believe that you have been subjected to marital discrimination at work, you may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer and collect the damages to which you are entitled. We at the California Employment Attorneys Group are here to help you through this difficult time. We help people like you every single day get knowledge about any future steps and answer questions they may have about marital status discrimination. Examples of such questions include:

  • Can I sue my employer if he discriminates against me because of my family status?
  • My boss wrongfully terminated me because of my marital status. Can he legally do that? What are my rights?
  • I was terminated because of being divorced. Can I sue?
  • I am facing discrimination at work because of being divorced. What are my rights?
  • Can I hire a lawyer to sue my employer if they fired me for being a single parent?
  • My boss discriminates against me because I am a single parent. Can I file a lawsuit?
  • Can I file a claim because I was demoted due to my family status?
  • Is marital status a protected class in California?
  • Can I file a discrimination claim against my employer if I was fired or demoted because of my marital status?

What Is Marital Status Discrimination


Marital status discrimination occurs in the workplace when a person is treated differently or unfavorably by an employer, supervisor, coworker, or client because of they are single, married, divorced, engaged, widowed, or in a same-sex marriage. Marital status discrimination is prohibited under most state laws, including the state of California. Marital status discrimination is illegal in all facets of the employment process. This means that an employer cannot overlook an applicant just because of their marital status.

It is illegal for an employer to ask whether an applicant is married during an interview, otherwise, they are in direct violation of California law which then gives the applicant the right to file a lawsuit.

Marital status discrimination often takes place along with other forms of discrimination such as sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, or parental status. California law does not allow for discrimination and promotes an equal workplace for all employees with things like work schedules, promotions, benefits, and wages regardless of things like an employee’s race, sex, national origin, religion, and other such things. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects against most kinds of discrimination. The Civil Rights Act, however, does not protect against marital status discrimination. The federal law which protects employees from marital status discrimination is the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) – but these laws only apply to federal workers.

This is why many employees look towards their state for protection, and California offers such protection.

Harassment based on marital status is considered illegal as well. Harassment can take the form of unwelcome jokes, or degrading comments about their marital status. For example, if a white employee’s spouse is Black, an employer cannot comment on that.

How to Prove That You Experienced Marital Status Discrimination


The best way to prove you were subjected to marital discrimination is with direct evidence – something that your employer did and stated that your marital status was the reason for their taking action. For example, once you are employed your employer calls you into his office. He tells you that married women are not desirable to their older clients and so they must demote you to another position. In this case, the employer has directly stated that the employee’s marital status was the sole reason for her demotion.

In order to prove that your employer subjected you to marital status discrimination, you must be able to prove the conditions listed below:

  • You have a particular marital status (e.g., married, single, divorced, etc.);
  • That your job performance leading up the alleged marital status discrimination was satisfactory, or that the applicant was qualified for the position for which they were not hired;
  • You were affected by your employer’s decision, in this case, fired, demoted, denied benefits, etc., because of your marital status (e.g., single);
  • That your fellow employees with different marital statuses were not subjected to the same kind of discrimination to which you were subjected by the employer. (For example, your colleagues who are married were not affected by the same kind of punishment you received.)

If you can prove that the above circumstances apply to you and your case, then the courts may have no other option than to assume that your employer subjected you to marital discrimination.

What If My Spouse and I Work for the Same Employer?


California marital status anti-discrimination laws are very clear on marriage between two coworkers. If two coworkers are married to one another, an employer cannot terminate them. It “is not ipso facto a reason to get rid of them.” (Hope Int’l Univ. v. Sup. Ct. (Rouanzoin), (2004) 119 C4th 719, 724, 743. For example, if you are a professor at a university and marry another professor who works in the same university, the university cannot fire you simply because of your marital status to one of the other professors.

But just because an employer cannot discriminate and take action against you and your spouse, it does not mean that they cannot regulate you two. Employers are allowed to dispense “reasonable regulation” over the working of spouses if they work in the same department. California regulations implicitly state that the employer “shall make reasonable efforts so as to minimize problems of supervision, safety, security, or morale.” This rule helps maintain a fair level of playing field for all employees. This way, the spouse does not receive any preferential treatment that other employees would not receive.

The California Employment Attorneys Group is here to ensure that justice is served if your employer breaks the law and subjects you to marital status discrimination. Discrimination law can be difficult to understand, and so that is why it is important that you contact an employment attorney. Our qualified attorneys can help protect your rights and make sure that you get the damages to which you are rightfully entitled. We offer free consultations and the zero-fee guarantee. That means that there’s no financial obligation nor financial risk on your part because if we do not win your case, you will not pay for our services. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you.

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