California Employment Law
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Good morning Tom,I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.1. Is this a job that you applied for---or just a cold-call email you received out of the blue?Doug
It is an initial email that I received from a recruiter who has been hired by the company to fill the VP of Sales role. In addition to the questions I received, the recruiter sent me a job description as well.
What I also found strange about the questions is that he prefaced asking them in the email by first saying... "With your approval, I would appreciate you answering the following questions" as if to say he knows the questions are illegal but is seeking my approval to answer them.
Should I or should I not answer them?
Often, recruiters whether they work for the hiring company or have been retained by the hiring company will see your Linkedin profile or find your resume on a resume job board like Monster or Careerbuilder and send you an email if they think your background matches a job they are trying to fill. In my particular case, the gentleman works for a recruiting firm retained by another company. I connected with him on Linkedin, and the recruiting firm he works for is a publicly traded company so everything is legitimate.
CA law prohibits harassment and discrimination in the workplace, as well as the hiring process, 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 file a formal complaint with the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging discrimination based on your age, nationality, and marital status. 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.
One more question...
If I answer the questions but my application is not given further consideration, it would appear to me that I would be in a better position to potentially take legal action (I'm 48) as opposed to not responding to the questions at all and trying to take legal action. Would this be correct?
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