For many employment law claims, including harassment, retaliation, and some types of wrongful termination, an employee cannot file a lawsuit directly in court. Instead, the employee must file a claim with either the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (the California agency) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the Federal agency).
These agencies have different processes, and different deadlines for filing a claim. Furthermore, the type of claim that you file may limit your ability to sue the employer later. (For example, if you file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for harassment, but fail to include a claim for retaliation, you may not be able to bring a claim for retaliation when it becomes time to sue.)
At the time that you file your claim, you must choose whether to request an investigation or an immediate right to sue letter. Each of these choices has certain consequences, so it is important that prior to making this decision you get good legal advice.
At Sundeen & Salinas, we are very familiar with claims before both the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We prefer to discuss these claims with employees prior to the employees bringing the claims, and, if possible, to represent the employees during the claims. However, some of our clients contact us after their claims have been filed. Either way, the sooner we become involved, the sooner we are able to make sure that your rights are fully protected.
If you have a question about your legal rights, or wish to speak to an attorney about your situation, please call us today at 510-663-9240, or contact us online to discuss your legal rights.