Discrimination Defense

Count On Our Team to Protect Your Interests

Modesto Discrimination Defense Attorneys

Defending California Employers Against Unfounded Discrimination Complaints 

Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, disability, pregnancy status, marital status, age, or sexual orientation. Discrimination can include failure to hire, failure to promote, harassment, retaliation, constructive termination, wrongful termination, and any other action that adversely affects an employee.

Individuals who are denied employment opportunities, lose their jobs, or experience harm in their workplaces due to unlawful discrimination are entitled to compensation. However, not every claim of discrimination is valid. Our Modesto discrimination defense lawyers understand this and work hard to defend businesses against these types of unfounded allegations. 

Our legal team at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger provides skilled, resolute legal guidance to California employers. We are a small firm known for large firm results. Our legal professionals have over 100 years of combined experience and a strong track record of securing successful results for our clients. 


We can provide the knowledgeable representation your business needs to prevail. Call (209) 340-1110 or contact us online to request an initial consultation. 


Types of Employment Discrimination

An employee may claim discrimination if they believe they were terminated, retaliated against, not hired, or otherwise treated adversely due to their membership of a particular protected class. Discrimination laws apply both in the workplace and during the hiring process. Under no circumstance can you discriminate against an employee or job candidate due to their age, religion, disability, race, national origin, gender, pregnancy status, or any other protected factor.

When your company conducts interviews, it is advisable to ask every candidate the same set of questions. You should also not ask certain types of seemingly innocuous questions, as they may be construed as discriminatory.

Questions you should avoid asking during a hiring process include:

  • Are you married?
  • What is your maiden name?
  • Do you have (or want) a family?
  • How old are you?
  • When did you graduate high school?
  • Where are you from?
  • Do you have a disability?

Employers can be held accountable for both intentional acts of discrimination and work policies that intentionally or unintentionally discriminate. In the eyes of the law, an employer’s intent does not matter if an action or policy results in discrimination.

Policies that may be considered discriminatory include:

  • Failure to remedy a hostile work environment in which race or other legally protected characteristics are ridiculed, stereotyped, or demeaned
  • Dress code policies that interfere with an employee’s religious practices
  • Arbitrary and unreasonable physical requirements that exclude women 
  • Employment advertising, policies, and practices that effectively discourage members of certain groups from applying or participating
  • “English only” policies when communicating in English is not an essential component of the job

These are just a few examples of the types of allegations an employer can face. Defending against these complaints tends to be a complex endeavor, but our Modesto discrimination defense attorneys are up to the challenge.

Responding to Discrimination Allegations

If an employee believes they have been subject to discrimination, they may file a complaint with your company’s HR department. Should this occur, make sure the case is taken seriously. If the employee is satisfied with how you handle their concerns, you may be able to resolve the situation internally.

An employee also has the right to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You will be informed of their complaint, and the applicable agency will conduct an investigation. 

When an employee files a discrimination complaint, it is extremely important that you do not take any action against them that could be construed as retaliatoryDo not terminate, demote, or take any adverse action against the claimant without first consulting our team at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Heitlinger. You should also be cautious when taking any action against someone who participates in an EEOC or DFEH investigation.

The EEOC or DFEH may attempt to negotiate a settlement between you and the claimant. If the case cannot be resolved or if the EEOC declines to pursue the case further, the employee may receive permission to file a private lawsuit. 

Our Modesto discrimination defense lawyers will work to protect your interests throughout each stage of the investigation, negotiation, and litigation process. Preserving your reputation is our top priority, and we will work tirelessly to refute the allegations. We are known for our trial preparation and exceptional negotiating skills, and we will leverage all our resources to fight for the best possible result. 


Do not wait to call (209) 340-1110 or contact us online if your business is facing discrimination allegations.


“This firm exemplifies how a multi-faceted group of attorneys can work together to achieve positive results.”

- James M.
Case Results

We fight tirelessly to make sure we gain the best possible results for our clients.

  • Broadside Motor Vehicle Accident

    Recovered the policy limits when client was broadsided in an intersection.

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  • Business Dispute

    Recovered $3,300,000 in buy-out and settlement of minority business owners in breach of fiduciary duty obligations of entity management action.

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  • Business Dispute

    Recovered $1,200,000 in income producing property in family business dispute action alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary against majority owner family members wherein all income payments and distributions to client had ceased for multiple years.

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  • Car Accident

    $8,500,000 recovery. Client was rear-ended on the freeway and suffered catastrophic injuries.

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  • Dog Bite

    Plaintiff was bitten on the hand by his employer’s dog.

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