The laws in California forbids employers from making hiring, operational, or firing decisions based on an employee’s protected status. Your skin color, hair texture, and other facial features should never be why you are mistreated at the workplace or when seeking a job opportunity.

When this happens to you or another employee or job applicant, you can hold the employer accountable for discriminatory racial acts. However, there are specific procedures for seeking legal redress. Experienced San Francisco employment lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of the process and ensure that you receive justice. s

How Do I Know I’m Being Discriminated Based on My Nationality?

Establishing whether your employer is being discriminative against you based on your nationality is not easy.

But here is what it might look like;

  • They don’t consider job applicants with ethnic-sounding names
  • They hire people of different races to take up different positions
  • Retaliation against employees that associate with other races
  • Making fun of stereotypes or accents of people from other nationalities or races
  • They fail to put a stop to ethnic or racial jokes in the workplace
  • They enforce different rules on workers of different backgrounds
  • Reduced pay or reduced hours
  • They only promote employees from a certain race
  • Your workload increases or work duties change
  • They exclude certain races from events or meetings
  • Sudden changes in your work performance reviews

Evidence of the above taking place in your workplace can help build up a discrimination case against your employer in California.

Where Do I File a National Origin Discrimination Complaint?

Both the state of California and the federal government have avenues for discriminated workers to use in taking action against their employers. You can file through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at the federal level. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) provides remedies at the state level.

Most employees prefer to file their complaints through the DFEH because it provides a longer timeframe for one to launch their complaint. It also provides a wider range of protection compared to the EEOC. For instance, employees in workplaces with fewer employees are covered in the DFEH.

How Do I File a Lawsuit if I’m Discriminated Against?

It is impossible to go straight to court to seek damages for workplace racial discrimination in California. Complainants are required to first explore administrative remedies with the EEOC or the DFEH, before proceeding with a lawsuit. Once they receive your application, they might seek the employer’s response on the matter.

In some instances, they could help the two parties sort the problem through mediation. But if it doesn’t work, they might advise on whether or not to proceed with a lawsuit. And if you don’t want to go through the complaint process, your racial discrimination lawyer in San Francisco, CA, can assist in obtaining an immediate right to sue.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Racial Discrimination Complaint?

A pre-complaint inquiry for alleged racial discrimination at the workplace needs to be filed within three years from the last incident. But if you didn’t learn about the unlawfulness of the practice before the lapse of the period, a skilled San Francisco racial discrimination attorney can help you get an extension.

Once you file using the form on their website, on the phone, or online, a DFEH investigator might contact you within 60 days. If they establish that they cannot handle the matter, they give you an immediate right to file a lawsuit. They might also decide to attempt to resolve the issue. And at this point, you can also file another complaint with the EEOC.

What Damages Can I Claim for Racial Discrimination in California?

If the judge establishes that your employer discriminated against you based on your national origin, they will likely award you damages. The amount and kind of compensation the victim receives varies from one case to another. It is dependent on the nature of the discrimination and the extent of harm it caused you.

Victims can receive equitable remedies, punitive damages, and money damages. An experienced San Francisco racial discrimination attorney can explain the full extent of your damages and help you recover compensation for:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Bonus payments
  • Pension benefits
  • Other benefits
  • Higher income from a raise
  • Higher income from a promotion
  • Front pay
  • Back wages with interest

Justice can also be in the form of;

  • Reimbursement for court costs and attorney fees
  • Punitive damages
  • The hiring of the individual that was disqualified because of their national origin
  • Re-hiring of an employee fired for racist reasons

When Should I Retain an Attorney?

You should speak to a California discrimination attorney as soon as you realize that your employer has been discriminating against you or other employees based on their race. This allows them enough time to investigate your case and determine its viability. They can pursue the case if it meets all the elements of discrimination, for instance;

  • Having an employer-employee relationship with the accused person
  • Being an unpaid intern, job applicant, temporary worker, or employee
  • The employer took adverse action of any degree, kind, or nature
  • They had discriminatory intent when taking the adverse action

Don’t forget that you only have one year from the day you obtain the right to sue, to take the case to court. So, you better act fast and begin compiling all the relevant evidence and presenting the lawsuit.

California Lawyers Fighting for Justice on Behalf of Discriminated Workers

While California has strict laws forbidding discrimination, your employer might not easily accept fault. They will probably fight your accusations with a team of legal experts that will do all they can to dispute and question your lawsuit.

Don’t forget to equip yourself with a seasoned and experienced employment lawyer specializing in cases like yours. Our attorneys are honest and will represent you skillfully to ensure that you get the best possible outcome. Speak to us today to know how much time you have left and what you can do to fight for justice.

Geonetta & Frucht, LLP
By: Geonetta & Frucht, LLP