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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12508
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello, I wanted to see who I can go to about a complaint about

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Hello, I wanted to see who I can go to about a complaint about a company member who gave me a verbal offer on last Friday, and was told as soon as my background check came through, they would send me an offer letter to sign. The HR contact person who was doing the background check asked for more references since they could not get any response from the company references I gave to them. I told HR that I was afraid of this because the company I work for has a policy where we can not give information about work and have to go to a work number to verify employment only. I gave her 3 more references who were not my managers and informed her if she had anymore problems to get back to me. As the days went on, I called this HR person as well as the regional manager who offered me the position and tried emailing them. Neither one would return my call. Then I get a call from someone else leaving a message on my phone that this position had been filled internally and they did not have anything else right now. I still tried to get ahold of the person who offered me the position and she still would not return my call. When I used a different number to call her, she answered and said she was at home still and would call when she got to the office. She never called. I sent her another email and no response. I then sent her and the HR person an email requesting their managers above them contact info as well as the main contact person of the company so I could file a formal complaint. I then received a call from this other person who leftva message on my phone saying position had been filled a little irritated because I asked for contact numbers and I told her I could not get the other two to respond and all I wanted was some answers. She said it was about my background check and when she looked it up, she said it was because they could not get ahold of some of my references. I told her that I gave them different references and our company policy on giving info. I also told her I told them to contact me if they had any problems. She also said I had an unfavorable response from one, which I said that was impossible. They were able to get ahold of one of my references and should have gotten ahold of two more since I gave their cell phone numbers to them, however, did not say anything else about these references. I told them I wanted their contact information that I requested by the end of the business day and even told the person who called me thus too. I still have not received this information. I feel I have been treated unfairly and thevway they handled this was very unprofessional. I turned down another position at a different company for this and had already gave notice to my company. Is there any organization I can go to to file a formal complaint against this company? Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear about your difficult situation and can certainly understand why you are upset about the way you were treated.

Can you please tell me whether you believe the denial of your employment had something to do with your race, religion, sex, age, or something else? Or do you believe this was simply fair without ulterior motives?

I very much look forward to assisting you regarding this matter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Probably cannot prove it but it could be an age discrimination. I am 62
Thank you very much for your reply.

I appreciate your concerns and where you are coming from, but I must be honest with you in saying that the facts described would not ordinarily give rise to any sort of legal cause of action.

This is because employment in the state of California is "at will," and as such, may be terminated by either party at any time--including before employment even begins, and regardless of the unfair consequences that may result. The only notable exception to this general rule is that employment decisions cannot be based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age (over 40), or sexual orientation.

These are known as "protected characteristics" under state and federal law and adverse employment action premised on these characteristics will give rise to a claim for discrimination. You state that age may have played a role in your denial of this position, and if so, that would be illegal. However, the problem is in proving that age was a factor, and you state this probably cannot be done. In any lawsuit, a plaintiff will bear the burden of proof, and so unless you have specific evidence of discriminatory intent (e.g., a statement that "your're too old to cut it"), any claim would immediately fail.

I appreciate your frustration about the references and your prospective employer's inability to contact them or obtain accurate information from them, but since employment decisions need not be fair or based on anything logical or reasonable, denial of the position due to a failure to locate and confirm references is simply not illegal.

I am terribly sorry to deliver this news to you, as I realize it is not what wanted to hear. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate my limitations is explaining how the law actually operates under these circumstances, despite the law not being favorable to your circumstances. Indeed, to provide anything less would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me.

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.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Very best wishes and happy holidays to you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
what I want to do is file a complaint against the company but do not know who or where to go. That was my main question.

Thank you again very much for your reply.

You are always free to write upper management and complain to them of the unfair hiring practices you encountered. Beyond this, however, the purpose of my initial answer was to explain why there would be no basis to take legal action unless you felt that you had facts suggesting discriminatory (as defined above) intent. There is no state or federal agency that receives complaints for generally 'unfair' hiring practices because such practices are not illegal or regulated.

If you believe that discriminatory motives were at play, you could file a formal complaint of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

For information on how to bring a claim through California's DFEH, visit this link: For information on how to bring a claim through the EEOC, visit this link:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any further concerns and I will do everything I can to address them.

Very kindest regards.

Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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