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What can I do about workplace discrimination in California?

Have you been retaliated against at work? Maybe you've been facing discrimination. It's important to know how to file a complaint, and if that complaint isn't taken seriously, then you have a case against your company or employer. You can file a retaliation or discrimination complaint any time you feel like you've been discriminated against in violation of the law. That includes not being hired, being fired and other workplace discrimination issues.

You are protected when you file a complaint. In the State of California, you may speak to the office of the California Labor Commissioner at any point. You may also speak to a law enforcement agency or other government body about your workplace and the conditions you're working in. When you take this step, your employer is not able to suspend you, discipline you, fire you or demote you for doing so.

Interestingly, you do need to file your complaint within a noted time frame. You have six months after the occurrence of the discrimination to file your complaint, except if the complaint falls under labor codes 230c or 230.1. These complaints can be filed up to a year later. Complaints that fall under code 1197.5 can be filed up to two years later, giving you plenty of time to look into all your legal options.

You will either file complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in Sacramento or in Santa Ana based on where you were working at the time of the discrimination. If all of this seems confusing or troubling to you, you may want to speak with a legal professional about your options. You have the right to point out wrongdoing in your workplace, and you may be entitled to compensation.

Source: State of California Department of Industrial Relations, "How to file a retaliation/discrimination complaint" Sep. 18, 2014

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