California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
Hello and thank you for your question today.
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First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation. It is a shame when an employer does something without legitimacy, especially when that decision is quite frankly wrong. However, that does not necessarily mean that the decision is unlawful. California is an at will employment state. This means that your employer is allowed to set different standards for different employees as long as the reason behind this does not violate your civil rights or is in breach of contract. Thus if you are a union employee, or if you have an employment contract that states this type of behavior is unacceptable, you may have a cause of action. Otherwise, in order to be protected, you need to be able to point to a protected category for the reason behind the treatment. This means that you must complain that the real reason that is happening is because of your age (over 40), gender, race, religion, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin, creed, or disability.
Do you believe this could be the case in your situation?
If you can point to a protected category as a reason for the disparate treatment, then you can consider filing a claim with the EEOC or DFEH or getting an employment attorney involved. If you decide to hire an attorney a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys willing to take your case prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.
Otherwise, even though this treatment is wrong, it is still legal. If you do not believe that you were discriminated against because of a protected category, the best approach here may be to try to set up a meeting with your supervisor and explain in a calm and positive manner that you really like your job, really like working there, and see if they will talk to you about why there is a difference in responsibility. Many times in situations like this, it could be as a result of miscommunication.
Welcome to the chat
Does everything I have said make sense?
Yes it makes sense, just a second
I believe the reason for the problems is race, all of the employees getting preferencial treatment are of a different race than mine
I have brought the issue to my supervisor, he for the most part agrees with me, and tells me not to look to deep into the matter, or not assure me that everything will be fine
Then you would have a couple of options at this point. You can either go to HR and make a complaint (in writing) that states that you believe you are being discriminated against because of your race, you can file a claim with the EEOC, claiming that you think you are being discriminated against because of your race, or you can file a claim with the DFEH claiming that you believe you are being discriminated against because of your race. You mention that you brought the issue to your supervisor. However, have you ever specifically referenced race when speaking with your supervisor?
I have mentioned the race as my perspective, yes.
what are EEOC and DFEH?
The EEOC is the equal employment Opportunity Commission and is the federal agency for these types of claim. You can file a claim with them here:
The DFEH is the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and is the state agency for these types of claim. You can file a claim with them here:
You would allege that you have already complained that this disparate treatment was as a result of race, and that your company has done nothing to change the behavior.
They would then launch a full investigation into the company to see if there is any truth to the statement.
now the monkey wrench, the person that is constantly harassing me is the president of the company, I am a top level employee...
While this can make things more complicated, it does not change the law. Once you have made a complaint with the EEOC or DFEH, if the employer engaged in any adverse employment action against you as a result, you would have a much larger claim for retaliation against them.
that is what I thought..
Does that fully answer your question today?
Would I need and attorney after filing the complain?
Once you file a complaint, two things happen. The agency will launch an investigation and try to 1) make sure the disparate treatment stops, and 2) make sure you are compensated for the discrimination. If they are unable to do this, they will give you a right to sue letter. In this instance, you would need to get an attorney.
Then, you could go on Martindale.com, or other referral website and find an employment attorney in your area.
At that point, you would need to decide if it was more important for you to receive monetary compensation, or to make sure that the disparate treatment stopped.
I see, then this answers my question, ugly but does answer it
Of course, I always recommend getting an attorney involved up front, in order to walk you through the process.
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, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.
I suspect if and after I file the complain, the situation would become unbereable, for that I would prefer to have an attorney
If your employment changes in any way, or your treatment differs in any way, you would want to file a retaliation claim.
In which it would be advisable to get an attorney.
Though you can file the same claim in the same manner with the EEOC or DFEH as you did the original complaint.
Certainly the answers are timely and effective,
I need to think about what I want to do, certainly I cannot just show a big stick if not intend to use it
That is definitely a true statement. How you proceed from here on out is definitely up to you and should really involve a good look at your working environment and just how unfairly you feel treated. Because while the law would protect you from retaliation, it would not protect you from being invited to the local baseball game, or other endeavor.
Never heard that expression, but it is true
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX be all I believe
I will proceed to the rating and close this chat, is that the way to do it?
That is correct.
You will click save and exit after providing a rating.
ok bye now
Have a wonderful rest of your day.
and good luck!
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