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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I have made a harassment and descrimination complaint to my

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I have made a harassment and descrimination complaint to my employer against other employees. I have been given a room in the building to stay in at night for six years because i live 65 miles from the company. They have taken my keys and room from me and i feel that it is retaliation or they simply want me to leave. They know that i cannot afford to comute... this is why they offered the room in the first place. Can this be seen as retaliation? And... is this a breach of contract?
Good morning,

I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

Retaliation, under CA law and federal law, for having complained of discrimination is unlawful. Specifically, if you have opposed unlawful practices, participated in proceedings, or requested accommodations related to employment discrimination based on race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristic protected by law, then you are protected by the prohibition against retaliation.

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.

CA law prohibits harassment and discrimination in the workplace and 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.

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:

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 have additional questions; 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 tell me.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you highly, based on the understanding of the law I provided
. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation, and I trust you agree that it would be unfair for me to be punished by a (negative rating) ----the first 2 stars/faces----for having been honest with you about the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you,

Do you have an opinion on the breach of contract in regard the room that they have taken away from me?

Good morning,

You are very welcome. Please do remember to rate my service to you.

As for the suggestion that you have a contract for the room---you have not stated any facts which would lead me to believe that you have such a contract. What facts do you base the suggestion that you have a contract for the room on? Simply having been allowed to sleep in a spare room in a building where you work does not infer a contract. I presume it is not a full blown residence or apartment, but merely a room with a bed in it---and you are not a legal tenant with tenant rights. So, unless you can show an actual contractual agreement whereby you have the legal right to use the room---it is something that can be legally taken away at any time under CA law. I'm sorry.

In conclusion, I just don't see a breach of contract issue here. What I see is a retaliation claim, and the underlying claim for discrimination, as being the possible causes of action you have against the employer. And to go forward with those, you need to file your formal complaint(s) with either/or the DFEH and the EEOC.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

Would you please rate me highly now, based on my assistance to you in understanding the law.

I wish you the best in 2012,

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