Discrimination laws were enacted to give people equal opportunity in employment. Most states have their own laws which deal with discrimination issues at the workplace, in addition to federal laws that protect workers against it. Most of these laws cover discrimination based on age, nationality, gender, religion, disability, and other protected categories.
Here are some federal laws on discrimination:
Under the law, a victim must first file a claim before he can file a discrimination lawsuit. As in most other states, dealing with discrimination in California is typically the same. In California, a victim of discrimination may file a complaint for violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
When the DFEH issues a right to sue notice, the victim has one year to file a case in court, with limited exception in some cases. The statute of limitation in state law violation is one year.
For violations against Family Medical Leave Act, a victim may file a claim within two years after the violation or within three years if the violation was willful or recurring. Similarly, for violations against the California Equal Pay Act, wage discrimination claims may be filed within 2 years or 3 years if the action is willful. The victim may also alternatively file a claim with the State Labor Commission within six months of the violation. On the other hand, in cases where violations of federal discrimination laws such as Title VII, ADEA and ADA, were made, victims may file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days. Once a right to sue notice is issued, the claimant has only 90 days to file a case in a federal court.
However, most employers are given the opportunity by the state and federal employment laws to remedy the situation before it escalates into a lawsuit. Most employers are required by law to implement guidelines and an internal complaint procedure on how to file a discrimination claim or in harassment issues where an administrative action may be required.
Filing a claim and bringing up a discrimination case may involve complex state and federal laws; hence the assistance of an employment lawyer is essential to the victim's cause.