Redwood City, CA asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California

Q: Recently my employer gave me a title that is completely lower in any criteria compared to other employees.

I'm in California. I'm a GC holder. The higher promotions are citizens or from a specific nationality. I have two PhDs and 4-year experience in this company, but I realized they even hired new MS employees with higher titles. I'm over 40 now. Also, they behave differently regarding travel to my country and refer to it as my amount of time not spending for the company.

1 Lawyer Answer
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is unlawful to engage in an adverse employment action related to an employee if the action was motivated by the employee's membership in a protected class of people, such as race, national origin or age (over 40).

The determination whether the title change is an adverse employment action would require more information, but it is possible it could be considered as much. Further, it the titles reflect higher or lower pay rates, then there is no question the title change would be an adverse employment action.

Finally, if you are being subjected to unwelcomed comments about your national origin, and they are severe or pervasive, you might also have a claim for unlawful harassment. Again, much more would need to be known.

At this time, it would be a good idea for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low-charge consultation and then if the matter has merit and sufficient value, they work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.

Good luck to you.

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