Gender Discrimination in California: Know Your Rights



Speak to an Attorney at California Work Injury Law Center.

Gender discrimination is against the law in California. Gender discrimination is a violation of California Fair Pay Actfor decades now, the California Equal Pay Act has prohibited an employer from paying its employees less than employees of the opposite sex for equal work.


The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) requires employers of 5 or more employees to provide an eligible employee with job-protected leave to care for a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling with a serious health condition, and for the employee’s own serious health condition. An eligible employee may also take job-protected leave to bond with a new child by birth, adoption, or foster care placement, within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster placement. “Child” means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of an employee or the employee’s domestic partner, or a person to whom the employee stands in loco parentis. “Parent” includes a biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a parent-in-law, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or other person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child.

Employers of 5 or more employees must provide up to four months of disability leave for an employee who is disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.

To find out if you qualify for job-protected leave due to pregnancy disability or bonding with a new child, see our Interactive App on Job-Protected Leave.

Gender Discrimination in Pay: Is It Discrimination

Women in California make 88 cents per dollar a man makes. That rate grows even greater when race is considered. 

The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Job content (not job titles) determines whether jobs are substantially equal. All forms of pay are covered by this law, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits.

If you think you have been a victim of gender discrimination in pay please call California Work Injury Law Center.

How do I know if I was discriminated against because of my sex?

The following are some examples of discrimination based on sex:

You have been denied a job, raise, promotion or have not been given the opportunity based on your gender.

If you have been paid less than your male counterparts, have been harassed or denied your rightful benefits based on your sex. If you have been denied maternity leave or been pressured to come back to work.

If you have been excluded from important meetings or pressured into wearing a revealing outfit in front of male clients, have had suggestive comments directed towards you.

You have been retaliated against for filing a sexual harassment claim, not taking sexual harassment reporting seriously or lack training in sexual harassment or fired for changing genders. 

There are just a few examples of discrimination based on sex.

How do I file a discrimination claim in California?

Contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ rights and discrimination. 

At California Work Injury Law Center, we file claims on behalf of our clients who have been wrongfully treated based on their gender, sexual identity, race, sex, religion, military service, political beliefs. We are experts at getting you the best settlement possible based on your circumstances. We will help set up your treatment with doctors, specialists and ensure that your rights under the law are protected.

When Can I file a claim for gender discrimination in California?

Whenever an incident of gender discrimination has occurred in the workplace.

How long do I have to sue my employer after I was discriminated against?

In general, you need to file a charge within 1 year from the day the discrimination took place. You may have longer depending on the type of discrimination. Always contact an attorney as soon as you feel that you have a claim to file based on discrimination.

Damages for a Discrimination Lawsuit

Compensatory and punitive damages may be awarded in cases involving intentional discrimination based on a person’s race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), religion, disability, or genetic information.

Compensatory damages pay victims for out-of-pocket expenses caused by the discrimination (such as costs associated with medical expenses) and compensate them for any emotional harm suffered (such as mental anguish, inconvenience, or loss of enjoyment of life).

Economic damages are the actual economic losses you have suffered such as loss of wages and benefits that were caused by workplace discrimination.

Other non- economic damages

Oftentimes non-economic damages are the largest portion of discrimination cases. They are meant to compensate you for the emotional pain and suffering the discrimination caused you.

It is important to keep records of every injury you have sustained, including mental health damages. Make sure you describe in great detail all of your injuries that your employer caused you. Seek out treatment from licensed practitioners and doctors.

How can I or my attorney pursue a claim in court in California?

At California Work Injury Law Center we will file a claim on your behalf. All you need to do is call and speak to one of our friendly staff members. We will take our time to listen to you and explain the process for filing a claim step by step.