San Francisco Discrimination Lawyer

Our San Francisco discrimination lawyers have decades of experience representing mistreated employees.

Have you been the victim of discrimination at work? Discrimination based on an employee’s identity and protected class is illegal. Fortunately, California has some of the broadest anti-discrimination laws in the country through the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Local city laws may provide even further protection. San Francisco, for example, has a law which prohibits discrimination of an employee because of his or her height or weight.

If you felt discriminated against at work, don’t stay silent. Contact our office today for a consultation or read below to learn more.

Types of Discrimination Cases We Handle and Protected Classes

At Rukin Hyland & Riggin LLP, our attorneys handle the following types of discrimination at work:

What is workplace discrimination?

Employment discrimination is behavior that shows bias against an employee based on their identity and protected class. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Employment and Housing Act combine to form some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country. The following types of conduct could be discrimination:

Discrimination Examples

Recruitment and Hiring

Assignment and Promotion

Wages and Benefits

Discipline, Demotion, and Discharge


Can A Supervisor’s Comments Provide Evidence of Discriminatory Intent?

It is sometimes challenging to prove discriminatory intent. Evidence is required, obviously, but what kind?  Courts have often talked about two kinds of evidence: direct and indirect.

A supervisor’s discriminatory comments may provide strong direct evidence of discrimination.  When a supervisor exhibits discriminatory bias, it may be reasonable to conclude that the employment decision was motivated by unlawful bias.  Id. at 1039-40 (citing Mondero v. Salt River Project, 400 F.3d 1207, 1213 (9th Cir. 2005).  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that even “a single discriminatory comment by a plaintiff’s supervisor or decision maker is sufficient to preclude summary judgment for the employer.”  Id. at 1039.

What Workers are Protected by Anti-Discrimination Laws?

Starting a Discrimination Case

Check your Company’s Discrimination Policy

Before filing with the EEOC or DFEH, check your company’s discrimination policy. It should have steps on who to contact regarding your complaint. Ask them to investigate your claim. Present any evidence you have at this time. Internal investigations can solve many claims without ever going to court. If your employer ignores your complaint or you don’t get satisfactory results, you will have to file a formal complaint with the appropriate agency.

Filing a Complaint with the EEOC or the DFEH

An employee who experienced discrimination first must file with a state or federal administrative agency before going to court. Time limits will vary depending on which agency you file with.

Statute of Limitations

It is important to note that there is a work sharing agreement between the EEOC and DFEH. Filing a claim with one generally automatically files a claim with the other. Who you file with first determines which agency will investigate.

Investigations can take months. After the investigation is complete, the agency will try and bring the parties together to mediate and settle. If these negotiations fail, they will issue a Notice of Right to Sue which allows you to take legal action against your employer. It is possible to obtain this notice without undergoing the agency investigation. However, this is unwise without speaking to a discrimination attorney.

Damages in Discrimination Cases

Courts award damages for practices that adversely impact “terms, conditions, or privileges” of employment (TCP). An employee who wins a discrimination case can receive the following civil damages:


Workplace Discrimination FAQ

An employee who suffers an adverse action on account of his or her protected status is a victim of discrimination. For example, a worker denied a promotion because of his race is a victim of unlawful discrimination. Similarly, a female employee who is paid less than a male co-worker doing the same job is also a victim of discrimination.
Most civil cases settle before trial. Thus, the vast majority of discrimination lawsuits settle before trial. They may settle before a lawsuit is even filed, or at some point during the course of litigation.
It is impssible to speak generally about the odds of winning a discrimination clase. Each case is different, and it is hard to predict a result at the beginning of a case. The best course of action is to talk with an experienced attorney about your particular circumstances.
Some lawyers charge by the hour for their services. Others offer clients a contigency fee arrangement. Some lawyers will handle cases on a hybrid basis by charging both a reduced hourly rate and a reduced contingency fee.


Contact a San Francisco Discrimination Attorney Today

Anti-discrimination laws ensure that employers treat their workers fairly. If you felt discriminated by a company or business in San Francisco, remember that there are strict deadlines on pursuing claims. Get in touch with one of our San Francisco Discrimination lawyers today before time runs out and see how we can help you receive fair treatment at your job.

“The expertise of Peter Rukin specifically, complemented by that of the firm, was extremely valuable in providing me with the tools required to successfully navigate the situation. Their professionalism with respect to each nuance of the situation, including the time-sensitive nature of it, is very appreciated.” – Adam