California Employment Law
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I've been a licensed CA attorney for nearly 3 decades, and for two of those, I have handled employment discrimination law and litigated cases against employers. Your description of the situation seems to indicate that there may well be discrimination going on based on your race/national origin. CA law prohibits harassment and discrimination in the workplace and if this is happening to you, you do have a legal remedy. Workplace harassment/discrimination is any unwelcome or unwanted conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or an aversion toward another person on the basis of any characteristic protected by law, which includes an individual's race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristic protected by law. A conduct is considered unwelcome if the employee did not solicit, instigate or provoke it, and the employee regards XXXXX XXXXX as undesirable or offensive.
In CA you have two possible avenues of approach to dealing with discrimination. If your goal is to ultimately sue in Federal Court, then you will file a complaint with the EEOC, and if you want to be in the CA Superior Court---local to your county---then you will file with the DFEH and, if you want to, with the EEOC as well. You must file a formal complaint of discrimination with the EEOC within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act, and within one year for the CA DFEH.
You may a formal complaint with the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging discrimination based on your race and/or national origin. To do this you must first make an appointment with the Department to be interviewed, either over the phone or at a local DFEH office. You may call the DFEH at(NNN) NNN-NNNN or apply on line by using the Department’s "Online Appointment System." The system will guide you through questions to determine whether an appointment is right for you. Alternatively, you may file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). If your company has 15 or more employees (the DFEH only requires that there be 5 or more employees), they are prohibited from discriminating against you. To file a complaint with the EEOC, contact the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office. To be automatically connected with the nearest office, call(NNN) NNN-NNNN EEOC website: www.eeoc.gov Federal law specifically prohibits discrimination, based upon the Ethnicity, Color, Religion, National Origin, Age, Sex and Disability of an individual, with regard to hiring, promotion and firing.
After you file the complaint, your employer will be prohibited from any retaliatory action against you. The EEOC will investigate your claim, and 180 days after the filing of the complaint you may ask for a "right to sue letter". The EEOC will issue you the letter which gives you the right to institute a private civil action against your employer and seek monetary damages.
You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you need any clarification of my answer; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you share that with me. Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed, so that I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. I will be happy to continue further, and to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.I wish you the best in 2013,Doug
Not sure how well I can pursue discrimination case (no offending words to point up, but certainly they don't like my accent and have said as much, and certainly don't like my cultural behavior which is warmer than the anemic hate to say WASP norm at the hospital -- not too many folks with any degree of tan for darn sure).
Main issue is how can I keep from getting fired? Please advise. That's what's brewing and I am on administrative leave (they "can't" make clear if it is paid or unpaid) and I have my next "meeting" on Monday with HR and Union Rep at 2:30PM.
Good evening Farzaneh,I have represented nurses in actions against hospitals and nursing facilities on many occasions, and my wife is a nurse, so I understand how the health care employment situation is.In all fairness to me, I have absolutely no information about your particular situation, and consequently not idea how you would go about not being fired. I can make a suggestion, but I would have to be omniscient to answer that question outright.You stated you fell discriminated against based on your race/national origin. I have provide you with the remedies under the law. That is all I can do. I am just an experienced employment law attorney.Whet you say makes me believe that you may well have a case. Being told that your accent is not liked, or your culture behavior---to me sounds like discrimination. The kind that I won case with for 2 decades in CA.Make the claim(s) with the DFEH and/or the EEOC. Your position is protected after that based on retaliation for you having made the complaint. The employer will be walking on eggshells after you file, and you are MUCH LESS likely to be terminated for a discriminatory reason!As for your leave of absence, as you are not being paid, you have every right to file for unemployment---and because you have not been terminated, you will qualify.Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed, so that I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. I will be happy to continue further, and to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.I wish you the best in 2013,Doug
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