Our experienced Pasadena employment law attorneys at Romero Law want all California employees to know that if they are part of a protected class and are being discriminated against at work, they may be eligible to file a legal claim for damages against their employer.
We have talked about the important steps to take before filing a workplace discrimination lawsuit, but what happens once the claim is filed? We have answers.
What Constitutes Employment Discrimination in California?
Workplace discrimination in California can take many different forms, each of which is illegal.
Both state and federal laws protect employees from discrimination based on certain protected characteristics, including:
- Age (40 or older)
- Gender identity
- Genetic information
- Medical condition
- National origin
- Sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
- Sexual orientation
If you believe are being discriminated against at work because of any of these protected characteristics, you may be eligible to file an employment discrimination claim in California.
What Steps Do I Need to Take to File a California Employment Discrimination Claim?
Filing a claim against a California employer for discrimination in the workplace requires following a legal journey that will help deliver results.
Those steps include:
- Step 1: Filing a Discrimination Claim with CRD or EEOC
Before a California employee can pursue a lawsuit against their employer for discrimination, he or she must first file a claim with either the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If filing with CRD, the agency will investigate the claim and decide whether to file a lawsuit on the worker’s behalf. If CRD declines to pursue a claim, the individual will be given a “right to sue” letter that paves the way to file a claim with the help of an experienced California employment law attorney.
If filing with the EEOC, the agency will also investigate the claim but may attempt to settle with the employer before filing a lawsuit. If EEOC is unable to settle the case, the individual will also be given a “right to sue” letter.
Employees have one year from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a claim.
- Step 2: Filing a Legal Claim
Once a California employee receives a “right to sue” letter from CRD or EEOC, he or she has 90 days to file a legal claim against their employer. Time is certainly of the essence at this stage. If the individual does not file a claim within that timeframe, he or she will waive their right to sue. This is why it is important to contact a skilled discrimination attorney in California as soon as possible when pursuing a claim, so your rights are protected from the start.
- Step 3: Discovery
Once a legal claim is filed against the employer, both the company and the aggrieved employee and his or her attorney will gather evidence through the discovery process, including any documentation supporting the claim, and taking depositions from witnesses or other important individuals who can back up our client’s discrimination allegations.
- Step 4: Settlement or Trial
When there is convincing evidence to support a California employment discrimination claim, the employer’s legal team will often attempt to settle the claim, instead of taking their chances at trial. If our Pasadena employment discrimination attorneys believe our client is receiving a fair and just offer, we will advise them to take it. If we do not, we will be trial ready and move their case inside the courtroom.
Are Your California Workplace Rights Being Violated?
If you believe your California employer is discriminating against you, contact our experienced Los Angeles County employment law attorneys to discuss your legal rights and options today. We will help you navigate the process and protect your rights from the start of your claim, so you can move forward with confidence.
Our employment law firm and bilingual staff offer services in both English and Spanish and are available now to discuss your case during a free consultation by calling 626-396-9900 or contacting us online.