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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 7207
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work 40 + hours a week but the company does not want to give

Resolved Question:

I work 40 + hours a week but the company does not want to give me benifits or vacation pay, sick pay or holiday pay. Everyone else is getting benifits. I feel I am being
discriminated against. I started the job as a project based job at 20 HRS a week and was told that when I worked more than thirty hours in a week I would be eligible for
benifits. A year and half ago I went full time but can't seem to get anywhere.
Am I being discriminated ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear that you are being deprived of these benefits and can certainly understand your frustration, given that everyone else seems to be receiving them.

Generally speaking, employers retain tremendous discretion with regard to how they choose to run their business, and there is no law that requires management decisions to be "good," fair or equal. Accordingly, there is no law that requires all full time employees to receive the same benefits, pay, or anything else.

The big exception to all of this is if the basis for you being singled out is your race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age (over 40), or sexual orientation. These are known as "protected traits" under California law and any adverse employment action taken on the basis of these traits would give rise to a claim for discrimination. Adverse employment action on the basis of these traits is the only time that "discrimination" becomes legally actionable.

So, if you can show that the reason you are being deprived of the benefits that your company is offering to other full time employees because you are a minority, for example, that would be illegal. However, if your employer is not basing their decision to deny you benefits on one of the protected traits enumerated above, their decision would not be illegal, despite being extremely unfair.

Keep in mind that in making a claim for discrimination, you as the plaintiff will bear the burden of proof. So, it is not enough to merely suspect discriminatory intent--you will need actual evidence (i.e., a pattern of not awarding benefits to minorities, derogatory comments about your race/religion, etc.). Basically, you have an affirmative obligation to provide evidence that supports your allegation.

An individual who believes he or she has been the subject of unlawful discrimination and wishes to file a lawsuit must first file a formal complaint of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Either the EEOC or the DFEH will issue an authorization to sue after they investigate the claim. A claimant need to file with both agencies. Finally, if an individual in your circumstance decides to sue, they must not miss their deadline. Under federal law in California, a claimant has 300 days from an act of discrimination to file a complaint.

For information on how to bring a claim through California's DFEH, visit this link: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints.htm For information on how to bring a claim through the EEOC, visit this link: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Very best wishes to you.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7207
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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