No job is ever going to be perfect. Therefore, there may be times when you feel uncomfortable at your place of employment. However, harassment and discrimination cause problems that go beyond a general feeling of unhappiness. They can cause you mental anguish and affect your livelihood in the worst cases. The law forbids places of employment from conducting such activities. These are some types of harassment and discrimination that you may face where you work. You must speak to a professional if you believe that any of them has victimized you. 

Religion-Based Discrimination

As a California citizen, you have the right to practice any religion you so desire. Religion-based discrimination includes unfair practices that target a worker’s religious affiliations or beliefs. They may consist of refusing to adjust an employee’s schedule to allow that person to worship. Alternatively, they may include forcing an employee to participate in activities that the person’s religion forbids. Termination based on faith and failure to hire someone based on his or her religion are also examples of such discrimination. 

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to hire a person because of that person’s race, place of birth, customs, or accent. It may also include offering such an employee a lower wage or a demeaning role because of the attributes mentioned above. Additionally, segregating the employee from other workers is a prohibited act. 

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination is the unfair treatment of an applicant or employee because of that person’s gender. An example is when an employer refuses to hire or promote a female employee for a job that it considers a “man’s job” and vice versa. It could also include termination, segregation, and lowballing someone’s pay because that person is of a particular gender. 

Age Discrimination

Employers must not discriminate against persons who are over the age of 40. Refusing to hire someone in that age class solely based on the individual’s age is prohibited by state and federal law.

Disability Discrimination

The Americans With Disabilities Act is one of the many legal provisions that protect persons who suffer from disabilities. Employers may not refuse to hire or reasonably accommodate someone who has a disability. 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment occurs when a person makes unwanted sexual comments, suggestions, or physical contact with a member of the staff. It can include coworkers, management staff, customers, and the like. An activity must be unwanted by the victim, or it must offend a third-party spectator to qualify as sexual harassment. 

Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is an environment that is unduly stressful on a worker because of bullying, gossip, workplace sabotage, and other situations that cause stress. Hostile work environment situations are prohibited, and employers must do everything they can to diffuse them. 

Quid Pro Quo

The phrase quid pro quo is a Latin term that means “this for that.” It’s a part of sexual harassment, and it happens when someone requests sexual favors in return for a job promotion or raise. Quid pro quo can also be reversed whereas the offending party threatens to terminate the employee if he or she does not comply. 


A retaliation offense occurs when a coworker or supervisor mistreats an employee because that person blew the whistle on a prohibited activity or filed a case because of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation is a discriminatory act in itself, and it warrants legal action when it occurs. 

Contact Us for a Consultation

We at Aiman-Smith & Marcy pride ourselves on our valiant efforts to protect the rights of California workers. We invite you to contact us and schedule a consultation if you feel as though you’ve experienced workplace harassment or discrimination. You have a right to work in a peaceful environment without undue stress and strife. We’re here to see that you do, and we’ll give you a no-risk case evaluation to prove it.   

Lisseth Bayona


Education and Background

I am a Los Angeles native and daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. From an early age, my parents instilled the value of hard work and education in me and my two siblings. Their perseverance enabled each of us to graduate from college and earn professional degrees.

My interest and commitment to workers’ rights have roots in my parents’ experiences as undocumented workers in Los Angeles. Witnessing the challenges they faced inspired me to pursue a career where I can help individuals confronted with similar struggles. To help someone in those moments is very satisfying. I love connecting with people and learning about their stories. I believe that dignity in the workplace is a right of all workers, not a convenience or privilege reserved for employees of a certain race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Legal Experience

I received my J.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law. While there, I served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where I drafted a criminal judicial opinion. Also, while at Gould, I served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Criminal Division Extern, I had the opportunity to work closely with a trial team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a money laundering case which further sparked my interest in litigation.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I enjoy urban vegetable gardening, traveling, and spending time with my nephew and niece. I also love to spend time at San Onofre Beach learning to surf, although admittedly, I am not very good.



Hallie L. Von Rock

Attorney (SBN 233152)

Education and Background

I moved to the Bay Area from Washington after graduating high school. I had been accepted to UC Berkeley through a program where I could defer for two years while getting my California residency and attending community college, which was significant since I was paying for college on my own. I began working for Randall Aiman-Smith and Reed Marcy in 1996 as an office manager while taking night classes. My first foray into the legal world was soon after starting at the firm when I was ready to transfer to UC Berkeley. Rather than accepting my resident status, the Board of Regents took the position that California residency required a student to be in California “two calendar years.” Randall and Reed took up my case with the same verve as they helped their actual clients and I got the chance to comb through the UC Berkeley library to read their codes and regulations to support my position. In that experience, I learned what is was like to feel helpless against a big organization and then to have dedicated attorneys in my corner to take up my cause.

After a break to pursue my major in art history, I went to UC Hastings College of Law and continued working with Randall and Reed. Having worked together now for over 25 years, we have a unique ability to work collaboratively and finish each other’s sentences. I have strived throughout my career to make a difference in the lives of our clients. At the end of the day, if I am helping someone to get compensation for losses they suffered, then I know that all the work put into a case has been worth it.

Legal Experience

I have extensive experience in civil litigation and class action cases, including conducting discovery and depositions, calculating damages analysis, preparing motions for certification, writing appellate documents, and overseeing claims administration. We have handled several class actions against retailers where plaintiffs claimed they were forced to purchase clothing to wear to work and were not compensated for these purchases, including against Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Uniqlo, Dollar Tree, and Ross. Recently, I was trial counsel in a defamation claim against Bank of America on behalf of a former employee who claimed the Bank blacklisted her with future employers. The jury found Bank of America liable, including for punitive damages.

Personal Interests

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has sponsored me in the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. When I race, I often wear a “Rockstar Ronan” shirt to support research for childhood cancer through The Ronan Thompson Foundation.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1999

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 2004

Randall Aiman-Smith

Abogado (SBN 124599)

Aiman-Smith & Marcy. Oakland consumer fraud attorneys.

Educación y antecedentes

Fui afortunado. A pesar de no haber terminado la escuela secundaria o la universidad, pude -aunque con mucho trabajo- ser admitido y sobresalir en una de las mejores escuelas de derecho del país: La Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Berkeley. Mientras estuve allí, tuve el privilegio de ser editor de la California Law Review y miembro del Moot Court Board, asesorando en la redacción de escritos y en la defensa de apelaciones a otros estudiantes. Después de salir de la escuela de derecho, en mis primeros años de práctica, enseñé la escritura legal y la defensa de apelación en la Universidad de California, Hastings College of the Law. También, a lo largo de los años, he sido presentador en eventos de educación legal continua.

Experiencia legal

He sido abogado durante 35 años. He dedicado mi práctica exclusivamente a representar a empleados, consumidores e inversores en los tribunales estatales y federales de primera instancia y en los tribunales de apelación. Me gusta ir a los tribunales por mis clientes y he llevado muchos casos con jurado en los tribunales estatales y federales.

¿Ejemplos? En 2010, fui la abogada principal, junto con los otros abogados del bufete, en el caso Williams v. Union Pacific Railroad donde, después de cuatro años de preparación, el bufete obtuvo un veredicto del jurado de 1.670.000 dólares para una empleada afroamericana. En Rivero v. Surdyka, fui el abogado principal en el juicio y la apelación de un caso de derechos civiles que duró 15 años, incluyendo un juicio completo y tres apelaciones al Noveno Circuito, concluyendo finalmente con una sentencia para los demandantes de más de 2.300.000 dólares. Estos casos ilustran el lema del bufete: compromiso – resultados. Hay que comprometerse con un caso, a veces durante mucho tiempo, para obtener el resultado que el cliente merece.

No siempre ganamos en el juicio. Cuando eso ocurre, el compromiso significa llevar el caso al siguiente nivel y recurrirlo. En el caso Rivero, antes mencionado, eso fue lo que ocurrió: el tribunal desestimó el caso -habíamos perdido- pero apelamos y conseguimos una victoria para nuestros clientes que mantuvimos a través de dos apelaciones más. Desde entonces, el bufete ha conseguido muchas victorias en apelación que reivindican los derechos de los empleados y los consumidores.

A lo largo de los años he sido abogado de los demandantes en numerosos casos individuales y acciones colectivas. Puede sonar cursi, o difícil de creer, pero después de todo este tiempo, y después de todas las grandes experiencias que he tenido, mi parte favorita de ser abogado es cuando consigo dar un cheque a mi cliente.



Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de California, Berkeley, J.D., 1986