Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am very sorry to hear you are being laid off after such a long track record with your company.
To answer your question directly, the first thing you need to do to proceed with a discrimination claim is file an administrative complaint with either the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (California's agency charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws) of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
It is generally better to file your complaint with the DFEH, as CA law is typically more favorable than federal law in this area and the EEOC can only enforce your federal rights.
When you file your DFEH complaint, you will be required to fill out some basic paperwork explaining the nature of your claim. Here is an overview of the claims process which will then ensue: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints_eCompProc.htm
For complaint filing information see here: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints.htm
Most claims, even those meritorious, are not prosecuted to judgment by the DFEH. Instead, the DFEH issues a "right to sue" letter, which will enable you to then sue in civil court.
If your pursue your claim to civil court, it would be very wise to hire an attorney. For attorney referrals, I am a fan of http://www.avvo.com
, which allows you to search attorneys by practice area and location and provides a basic form of attorney "ratings," taking into account such things as experience and industry recognition.
If you can, it is usually a good idea to have your attorney represent you on a contingency fee basis. If you don't know, a contingency fee arrangement is one in which the attorney receives a portion of the client's settlement or award as his payment, typically 1/3 of the total amount. If there is no recovery, the attorney does not get paid. The client never pays until the settlement or award is obtained (except perhaps to cover the filing costs for his claim).
I hope that this information point you in the right direction and I wish you the very best with your claim. Please do not hesitate
to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.