It is against the law for California employers to discriminate against protected class citizens during your scope of employment or the application process. You could file a claim for financial compensation if a company discriminated against you for reasons related to your gender, race, religious beliefs, or medical conditions.
While these cases are challenging to prove at times, it is not impossible to achieve. If you believe you have a discrimination claim, speaking with a California employment lawyer is the most practical method for receiving legal guidance as to how to proceed. He or she can help you prove your claim while handling the communication between the company and their team of attorneys.
In this article, the legal team at Perkins Asbill describes how to file an employment discrimination claim, signs of discrimination, and other relevant topics that help you understand what to expect during the process.
Filing an Employment Discrimination Lawsuit in California
The first step in submitting a workplace discrimination claim in California begins with going to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Victims of discrimination must go through the proper administrative avenues before filing a claim for compensation in civil court.
While it is possible to avoid this step in specific circumstances, DFEH advises that parties filing a civil lawsuit first to speak with a California employment lawyer first. Not correctly filing a claim going this route means that you could disqualify yourself from receiving future compensation after courts make a decision.
After going through the administrative process, your attorney will petition the court and serve the complaint upon your employer as well as other named individuals in the lawsuit. He or she will also advise you as to whom against you should file your claim.
Many employees assume that it is the name of the company. However, your managers and other relevant individuals might be named as well.
Upon serving the complaint, pre-trial litigation ensues. It is typically during this phase that discrimination victims, who have strong claims, may receive a settlement offer. You do not have to accept an offer that you do not believe is fair.
If your former employer chooses to forgo the opportunity to settle out of court, your case will continue litigation. Your lawyer will build your case and take it to the final trial if necessary.
Determining If You Experienced Discrimination
Workplace discrimination tends to be more covert than obvious. Managers and human resources personnel believe that they are more intelligent than the system and erroneously think that subtle acts will gently push you out of the way, and no one will be any wiser.
It is not just a single action that they are avoiding. Proving a discrimination claim is a set of measures established over time.
If you notice that managers and co-workers treat you differently than others or than in the past, it might not be in your head. The subconscious mind signals to you when something is wrong.
Potential and sustained patterns of discrimination may include:
- A sudden drop in your performance evaluations
- Team members and managers leaving you out of meetings
- Changes in work responsibilities
- Reduced pay or work hours
- Overt acts of discrimination
- Making sexist or racist remarks
- Managers not doing anything about your reports of misconduct
As you can see, there are several ways in which discrimination can occur. If you are still working there, start keeping a private, hidden personal journal that includes the date and time each act of discrimination occurred. Your journal is admissible as evidence in California civil courts and will become valuable to you as you proceed.
Protected Class Citizens in California
Workplace discrimination is something that can affect anyone at any time. It is an act not just reserved for minorities, as many people mistakenly believe. Primarily it affects protected class citizens.
You cannot receive discrimination for the following characteristics:
- Gender and gender presentation
- Medical and cognitive disabilities
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
You cannot experience exclusion, harassment, or discrimination for these characteristics. For example, if you are an unmarried woman who works among married women and exclude you because it is a “wives club,” you might have an employment discrimination case.
Final Thoughts and Considerations
You do not have to shrink back as someone else leverages their veiled confidence based on something of which you have no control. Filing a claim for discrimination compensation for your financial, physical, and emotional losses is possible. Talking with a California employer lawyer, like Perkins Asbill, can help you understand your next strategic move.
Call Perkins Asbill for More Information
We understand how frustrated and upset you are. The California employment law lawyers at Perkins Asbill invite you to contact us for a consultation by calling 916-446-2000 or submitting a request via our online contact form.