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How to File a Workplace Discrimination Complaint in California

How-To-File-A-Workplace-Discrimination-Complaint-in-California.jpgIf you believe you're facing discrimination in the workplace, then filing a workplace discrimination complaint is at the forefront of your mind. You're probably also facing the facts that you might not even know what employment discrimination entails, what anti-discrimination laws are defined as in the state of California or what your employee rights are.

How-To-File-A-Workplace-Discrimination-Complaint-in-California.jpg

If you believe you're facing discrimination in the workplace, then filing a workplace discrimination complaint is at the forefront of your mind. You're probably also facing the facts that you might not even know what employment discrimination entails, what anti-discrimination laws are defined as in the state of California or what your employee rights are.

The information below will give you the know-how on filing a workplace discrimination complaint in California the right way first, so you can save yourself additional stress later.

Types of Discrimination Against State Law in California

Before you file your workplace discrimination complaint, it's important to know what the California anti-discrimination laws entail. It's also good to know that California employment laws offer more protection from discrimination in the workplace than federal laws.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) has made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers based on race, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, religious creed and more. California law also protects your rights to use alternate languages aside from English in the workplace, unless it's a restricted business necessity to use English at work. The offices of Hennig Ruiz Law Firm use these California state laws to help protect you and obtain the compensation you deserve for employment discrimination in the workplace - whether it be from your boss or other coworkers.

3 Steps to Filing Your Workplace Discrimination Complaint in California

1.) Choose Whether to File with the DFEH or the EEOC

If you wish to file a discrimination claim in California, a complaint must be filed with either the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

So, what's the difference?
Put plainly, the DFEH is the California state administrative agency and the EEOC is the federal administrative agency. Some smaller employers aren't covered by federal law, so if your workplace only has 5 to 14 employees, you will want to file with the DFEH as the EEOC enforces federal law covering businesses with 15 or more workers only.

Both of these agencies have an agreement to cooperate with one another while processing your discrimination claims. That said, you only need to file with one of these agencies - just be sure to let the agency you choose know that you'd like to "cross-file" with the other.

2.) File Your Claim

How to File Your Claim with the DFEH
You should consult with an attorney before filing a complaint with the DFEH to ensure that the complaint is filed properly and within the appropriate timelines. The attorneys at Hennig Ruiz can help you through these initial steps as well as through a court filing if it's deemed the best course of action for you. To find out more about this process, contact the DFEH directly (800-884-1684). The agency also makes it easy for your attorney to file a pre-complaint inquiry online, through the mail using a workplace discrimination pre-complaint inquiry form that matches your particular issue and email your pre-complaint inquiry form to [email protected]

How to File Your Claim with the EEOC
You should consult with your attorney before filing a complaint with the EEOC to ensure that your complaint is filed properly and within the appropriate timelines. The attorneys at Hennig Ruiz will help you through these initial steps, as well as through a court filing if that is the best course of action for you. To find out more about filing a discrimination claim with the EEOC, you can call 800-669-4000. or visit the EEOC website.

3.) Find Out if You Should Pursue Your Claim in Court

Once a complaint has been filed with either the DFEH or the EEOC, the attorneys at Hennig Ruiz will then provide expert guidance on the next steps moving forward.

Note: If you filed with the EEOC, you must receive a document called "Dismissal and Notice of Rights" or "Notice of Rights to Sue," before you can hire an attorney to file your case (and you must do so within 90 days of receiving the notice).

Considerations

A Claim Must be Filed First
Under no circumstances will you be able to pursue a discrimination case in court unless you first file with the DFEH or the EEOC. Don't waste your precious time and contact an attorney today to get your complaint filed with the DFEH or the EEOC immediately.

Be Mindful of Time Deadlines
Don't ever delay in filing your claim. Employment discrimination claims must be filed within strict timeframes. Under California state law, you must file your discrimination claim with the DFEH within one year of the date in which you were discriminated against. Under federal law, you must file with the EEOC within 300 days of the date in which you were discriminated against. The sooner, the better for you and your claim!

If you feel like you've been subjected to employment discrimination, always document the discrimination and follow your workplace's internal policies for making a discrimination complaint at work. If you need help with filing a discrimination complaint, contact our expert employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz Law Firm for your free consultation.

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