When your employer takes action against you because of  certain personal characteristics, you may have been the victim of Employment Discrimination.  California and Federal law specifically prohibits employers from treating employees unfairly because of their race, sex, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, medical condition, sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, if you were fired because you are female, pregnant, or have a disability, you likely have a valid claim of discrimination against your employer. 

If you have experienced job discrimination and you cannot resolve the situation with your employer, you should consult an attorney to assist you with filing a formal claim with The state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) who investigate claims of job-related discrimination.  This is the first step in resolving your discrimination claim.  In fact, you cannot file a lawsuit without first filing a claim with one of these agencies.    Your initial statements to the DFEH or EEOC could limit what you are allowed to claim in any future lawsuit. An attorney will help ensure that your claim is filed properly providing you with the best opportunity to obtain a recovery for the discriminatory treatment.  Generally, a claim must be filed with the DFEH within one year of the discriminatory event. Alternatively, a claim must be filed with the EEOC within 300 days of the discriminatory event. 

Finally, if you’ve avoided reporting illegal discrimination or filing a claim with the DFEH or EEOC for fear of retaliation, you should be aware that state and federal law prohibits employers from firing or otherwise retaliating against any employee who complains about discrimination. If you are claiming retaliation, be sure that it is specifically referenced in the form that the agency prepares on your behalf.

Contact the law offices of Sean M. Patrick for an evaluation of your potential discrimination claim.