If you work in California and experience discrimination in your workplace, you may be able to file a claim against your employer. To file this claim, you will need to get everything in order by gathering supporting documentation, and subsequently following the proper protocol to get this claim underway.
Here is a closer look at what filing a workplace discrimination claim in California entails as well as what some of the damages you might have suffered because of illegal actions while on the job could be.
What Is Discrimination In The Workplace?
Discrimination in the workplace occurs when individuals, such as employees, are mistreated because of a specific reason, such as race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, as well as other factors. Discrimination is prohibited by both state and federal laws.
Workplace discrimination can involve being demoted, given less desirable work schedules, and not paid fairly. Workplace discrimination can even involve being fired from a position, as well as result in being denied promotions, or being denied employment at all.
What Laws Protect Employees From Workplace Discrimination In California?
In California, there are two main laws that prohibit workplace discrimination. These laws include California Fair Employment and Housing Act (CFEHA), which is a state law, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is a federal law. Most employers in California are bound by either one – or both – of these laws.
As such, if you have experienced discrimination in your California workplace, you should document any and all of the discrimination you have fallen victim to, and be sure and ask any witnesses to this discrimination you’ve experienced to provide you with written statements regarding what they saw and/or heard.
What Should I Do If I Experience, Or Have Experienced, Discrimination At Work In California?
If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination in California, you do have rights and protections. Thus, it is crucial for you to gather evidence and supporting documentation highlighting this discrimination.
It is important to note that, in California, you have a limited time to pursue a workplace discrimination claim. As such, you should report the discrimination incident(s) to your manager, supervisor, or human resource department as soon as you possibly can. You should also be sure to file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment as well as the Housing and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as soon as possible. If you get a Right to Sue letter from either of these agencies, you should make a note of the specified time frame in this document and file a lawsuit against your employer accordingly (a.k.a., within this time frame).
Filing a Discrimination Claim in California
If you have experienced discrimination as an employee in California you can file a discrimination claim with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC is a Federal agency, not a state agency, but they oversee the investigation of claims of discrimination or exploitation at work. You can also file a claim with the California Civil Rights Department.
The California Civil Rights Department is a state agency that investigates any violations of the civil rights of people living in California including their workplace rights.
If you’re experiencing discrimination by an employer in California you only have to file a complaint with either the EEOC or the CCRD. The two agencies share information so that people don’t have to file two separate claims.
When you submit a claim against your employer for discrimination include as much evidence as you can to show a pattern of discrimination. It’s very important that you submit evidence that shows exactly what discrimination you’ve been experiencing.
For example, if your employer has been engaging in wage theft by requiring you to show up 15 minutes early for your shift but not paying you until your scheduled time you would need to submit copies of your published schedule, pay stubs showing that you weren’t paid for that 15 minutes, and any emails, texts, or memos where your boss makes it clear that you’re required to come in early off the clock to get set up your shift.
Legally you must be paid for all time that you work. Having copies of your pay stubs, your schedule, and correspondence with your employer will prove that you were discriminated against.
Get Help From A Discrimination Lawyer Who Takes Cases In California
If you are, or have recently been, a victim of workplace discrimination in California, you should get help from a discrimination lawyer who takes cases in California. You should be sure to provide your lawyer with copies of your evidence and documentation.
Additionally, it is important for you to discuss payment options you’re your lawyer before diving in. This is because, while some workplace discrimination lawyers take cases and are paid on a contingency basis (meaning they are only paid if you win your case), other lawyers do not operate on a contingency basis and, instead, bill you by the hour. Such attorneys that are paid on an hourly rate may ask for a retainer fee to be paid upfront. A retainer fee is the term used to refer to the amount of money clients have to pay their lawyer upfront in order to secure their help and services.
Since you have a limited time for pursuing a workplace discrimination claim in California, your claim will be dismissed if you wait too long to pursue it. As such, if you have experienced discrimination at work in California and you are interested in filing a claim against your employer, you should consider completing the Free Case Evaluation form on this page to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website and represents California workers who have suffered from workplace discrimination. In doing so, you can share the details of your claim with the attorney you’re connected to, and they can also help you to determine the value of your claim as well as identify the damages you suffered because of the discriminatory actions.