Practice Areas

Employment Discrimination

Freedom from sexual harassment, race discrimination and other forms of harassment and discrimination in the workplace is a civil right protected by Federal and State laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. It is illegal to harass an employee and make employment decisions such as refusal to hire, denial of promotion, and firing, where the motive for the harassment or employment decision is based on the employee’s membership in a protected class, such as race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation.

The Cochran Firm has a core belief that through our work, we make this a better world. We are committed to fighting for your rights as an employee when your boss or your company takes advantage of you and violates your rights.

In California, most people can’t sue just because their boss is rude, demanding, or just doesn’t like them, or because their job is eliminated or because they are fired without good cause. In California, most employment is “at will.” It is not at will only if you have a contract with the employer that requires good cause to terminate. This means that the employer can hire, promote and fire any employee, as they wish, without needing any particular reason for doing so, as long as it is not for a prohibited reason, such as illegal discrimination or retaliation for opposing illegal harassment of discrimination.

Discrimination occurs when you’re refused employment, passed over for a promotion or a raise, demoted, or fired, and the motive for that adverse decision is that you are a woman, pregnant, a man, homosexual, heterosexual, an African-American, Hispanic, Asian or of other ethnicity, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or of other religious faith, are over 40 years of age, or have Cancer, HIV or other serious medical condition or physical or medical disability, or require a special chair or computer screen or other accommodation for a disability, etc. When an employer discriminates on the basis of a “protected class,” the employee can be devastated both emotionally and economically. A lifelong career may be irreparably derailed. You may find yourself completely black-balled from the industry you trained for, worked so hard to advance in, and planned to retire from.

In the case of being fired, the big issue is: Why were you fired? What was their motive? Generally, there will not be any admission that the supervisor, manager or the company acted illegally. We look at all the circumstances to see if we can point to illegal discrimination as the cause for the firing. If we can show that, these are great cases and we can get you substantial economic justice. On the other hand, if the employer can show some “cause” for an arguably legitimate business decision, such as insubordination, attendance issues, substandard performance, or misconduct, the probability of winning the case will be significantly reduced in the absence of strong, direct evidence that an illegal motive actually was the cause for the termination and the supposedly legitimate excuse was only a pretext for discrimination. Given the complexity of the issues, a thorough, critical analysis is required and we do that with greatly experienced, and highly-skilled specialists in this area of law.

In addition to our Employment Discrimination Law practice, Our Labor Law practice also strives for justice for victims of Employer abuse related to the failure to pay minimum wage and overtime, provision of rest breaks and meal breaks, and other violations of laws designed to protect employees in their work environment. Despite court rulings recently in the news, class actions are still a great tool for the vindication of Employers’ mass violation of these laws. If you or a class of your co-workers have been denied wages, overtime, or breaks, we can help.

Everyday, The Cochran Firm is fighting for the rights of working class people. Whether you have been victimized by harassment and discrimination or lost your job unfairly, or by wrongful abuse by the police, or have suffered severe injuries in an auto accident or caused by a defective product, we use our passion, focus and talents to get you the substantial justice you expect and deserve.