Losing your job is a stressful and challenging situation, especially when it happens suddenly. Like in many states other states, employees in California work at will. This means that an employee can be fired at any time for any reason or no reason. When this happens, it is essential to discover if you have grounds to file a wrongful termination or employment discrimination lawsuit.
Employment discrimination cases occur when an employer treats a person or group of people unfairly. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate and employee because of their:
- Gender and gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Military and veteran status
- or other personal characteristics protected by federal or state laws.
Many negative actions may constitute discrimination, such as doing any of the following because of one or more of the characteristics above:
- Forcing resignation
- Unfavorable transfer
- Denying pay
- Failing to hire
Every state has created laws and rules that protect your rights at work. For example, California has addressed “English-only” policies. It states that an employer cannot limit or prohibit employees from using any language (Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Arabic, Korean, etc.) in the workplace unless there is a business necessity for the restriction.
In the state of California, a discrimination claim can be filed with either the state administrative agency, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), or the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If your workplace has between 5-14 employees (or one or more employees for harassment claims), you should file with the DFEH. The EEOC enforces federal law, and that only covers employers with 15 or more employees.
If you have suffered from workplace discrimination, you must present your case within one year of the date you were discriminated against if you are filing with the DFEH; and 300 days if you are filing with the EEOC.
If you are experiencing discrimination at work, Aiman-Smith & Marcy want to help you. Contact our labor and employment lawyer to find out how we can help you protect your rights and pursue justice.