When you are working for an employer and they are not treating you right, in the form of workplace discrimination, you may have a lawsuit on your hands. Many employers will feel anxious when they are being discriminated against and harassed. There is nothing worse than coming to work every day and wondering where you are going to turn or what you are going to do about a harassing situation.
The legal battles that can stem from workplace tension and harassment can be costly and time-consuming so the people who endure them have every right to feel this way. California law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and treating them generally unfair. There is actually an act known as the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) that prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, and much more.
So, how do you file a complaint?
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) accepts complaints from people who believe they have experienced any type of discrimination that violates these laws. Complaints must be filed within a year of the alleged act of discrimination when the identity of the person is known. After a screening process, investigation is approved and the complaint goes under scrutiny to find if there are violations of the law. If there is enough evidence that illegal discrimination was taking place, then the DFEH will decide if prosecution should happen.
How does settlement occur?
After the complaint is filed, settlement can happen at any time in a variety of ways. DFEH may negotiate a settlement or a respondent may approach the person who filed the complaint directly to speak about ways to settle. Ways to deal with the problem without having to go to court will save time and money. Resolving the complaint can also help parties avoid financial burdens for when a complete investigation would take place. If you decide to settle with the employer, the DFEH will sign off on this and that agreement will be enforceable in a court of law.
What if it is necessary for an investigation to take place?
If there is no resolution, then the complaint will be investigated by DFEH. You will also be instructed on how to file a lawsuit if this is the course of action you would like to take. DFEH may need to interview you as well as other witnesses, access records and documents for review, make on-site inspections, and initiate formal discovery. The employer involved must cooperate fully with DFEH. They must provide accurate information, dates, identify witnesses, and notify DFEH of any changes.
Will the employer be prosecuted for their actions?
They may be. The matter may be transferred to court when there is no resolution, which leaves everything up in the air. Those who file complaints on their own under FEHA retain a right to sue and bring about a lawsuit. FEHA will hear the case if there is no emotional distress and, if there is, it will be transferred to court to be resolved (DFEH).
If you have a complaint against workplace discrimination, you can always seek the assistance of an attorney to help you with your case. Call the RAWA Law Group today for more information on what choices you can make to take action. Workplace discrimination is very serious and can keep you from enjoying day-to-day life, so you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages. Find out more today!