How to File an Employment Discrimination Complaint Against an Employer
By Gregory Thyberg on May 16, 2020
Discrimination in the workplace is illegal. It is against the law to treat an employee differently or discriminate against them based on legally protected categories, such as age, disability, gender, race/color, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, and pregnancy. Despite these protections, many workers report facing discrimination from an employer.
When workplace discrimination occurs, it should be reported and, if necessary, legal action should be taken. Workplace discrimination lawyer Gregory Thyberg can help those in Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas understand how to file an employment discrimination complaint against an employer.
Where to File a Claim
Workers in the state of California can file a discrimination complaint through either the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These two agencies have a “work-sharing agreement,” so they will cooperate with each other to process claims. Generally speaking, a claim should be filed with the DFEH if the workplace employs between five and 14 people. If the workplace employs more than 15, a complaint can be filed with either the DFEH or EEOC.
To file a claim with the DFEH, workers will call their headquarters to schedule an appointment at a local office. Their toll-free number is (800) 884-1684. To file a claim with the EEOC, workers can contact their local office, call the toll-free number at (800) 669-4000, or use the EEOC online public portal.
What Information Will I Need?
Individuals filing a discrimination complaint will need to have some vital information ready. Some of the basic information that will be required includes the name, address, and contact information for the worker making the complaint, as well as the name of the business or employer who the complaint is filed against, and the address and telephone number.
Aside from this basic information, individuals filing a complaint will need to provide a description of the incident or incidents they are reporting. Prior to making the complaint, workers should take notes and gather as many details as possible about the alleged incident. It is helpful to have specifics, such as when and where the incident occurred, exactly what was said or done, and who may have witnessed it.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Complaint?
We urge any of our Sacramento clients who are considering filing a complaint of discrimination to act quickly. Under state law, an employee has one year from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a complaint with the DFEH. Under federal law, an employee has 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a complaint with the EEOC.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
When filing a discrimination complaint, a worker does not need to hire an attorney, though they can choose to do so, simply for guidance in the filing process. If the DFEH or EEOC successfully resolves a discrimination complaint, the employee will likely be required to sign away their right to a discrimination lawsuit.
If a discrimination complaint is dismissed by the DFEH or EEOC, an attorney can be extremely valuable. Attorney Greg Thyberg can help workers in the Sacramento area take civil action and pursue financial compensation for damages stemming from workplace discrimination.
If you have faced workplace discrimination and would like to learn more about filing a complaint or pursuing a lawsuit, attorney Gregory Thyberg can help. Send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (916) 204-9173 to discuss your situation in further detail.