As troubling as it may be, workplace discrimination is a fact of life. Too often, California workers face unfair treatment as a result of their gender, race, ethnicity or other protected characteristic.
But, just because discrimination is common doesn’t mean it is ok. Workers have a right to take action. A new study suggests that restaurant employees may want to take up this fight.
Women, minorities earn less than white men
The study, which was conducted by professors at the University of California, found that women and racial minorities face employment discrimination in California’s restaurant industry.
The study found that white men, on average, earn more than female and non-white restaurant workers. For example, while white men had an average wage of $14.18, non-white females had an average wage of just $10.13.
The researchers also found that men and white people were more likely to work in lucrative management and front-of-the-house positions. Racial minorities, on the other hand, were more likely to have lower paying behind-the-scenes jobs like cleaners and dishwashers. Moreover, women who work in the front of the house tend to earn only 78 percent of what their male counterparts make.
How do I know if discrimination is happening at my workplace?
Much of the disparity that the study highlights can be traced back to societal and systemic inequities. But, there can be no doubt that some wage gaps and failures to promote can be traced back to discrimination on the part of the employer.
Discrimination exists whenever an employer takes adverse action against an employee (or potential employee) on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. It is not enough that the aggrieved employee happens to have one of these characteristics. Instead, it has to be a motivating reason for the employer’s action.
For example, discrimination may exist if an employer refuses to promote a female server into management, because he doesn’t believe that management is “women’s work.” It may also exist if it can be shown that white employees get better job duties or more frequent raises than their similarly-situated non-white coworkers.
If you think you are being discriminated against at work, your best course of action is to talk to an experienced employment discrimination attorney. The attorney will review your case to help you understand whether unlawful discrimination has occurred. If so, the two of you will work together to file a claim and take action.
Call JML Law
It is important to understand that California law imposes time limits on how long employees have to take action after discrimination occurs. If you suspect that your employer has behaved unlawfully, call the California employment discrimination lawyers at JML Law. We offer free no-risk initial consultations to help you understand your rights and opportunities under the law. If you hire us, we work on a contingency fee, meaning that you won’t owe any attorney fees unless and until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Give us a call at 818-610-8800 to schedule a time to meet with one of our attorneys.