EEOC Claim Attorney
Helping Employees throughout California Bring Complaints before the EEOC
If your employer has discriminated against you, retaliated against you, or subjected you to any other type of misconduct, you may be wondering if you can sue them for damages. Numerous federal and California laws protect employees from various forms of unlawful treatment, but before you can pursue a private lawsuit, you must first file a complaint with the federal U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).
At Bennett Legal Services, we help private and federal employees file complaints with the EEOC and DFEH. You only have a limited time to submit a claim, so you must act quickly. Our EEOC claim lawyer has 35 years of experience and will work closely with you throughout each stage of the investigation and negotiation process. If the administrative process does not result in an acceptable resolution, we are also prepared to represent you in private legal action and fight for the relief and justice you deserve.
Filing a Claim with the EEOC or DFEH
As a California employee working in the private sector, you may have the option of filing your complaint with the EEOC or the DFEH if the underlying misconduct is prohibited under federal law. California frequently enforces broader employment protections than the federal government, so if a violation is covered only under state law, you must file with DFEH.
You may only have 180 days from the date of the unlawful act to file a claim with the EEOC. You could have up to 300 days if a California law also prohibits the unlawful act.
If you choose to file with DFEH, you will have up to three years from the date of the unlawful act to bring a claim. This extended deadline can work in your favor: If you wait too long and can no longer file with the EEOC, you may still be able to file with the DFEH.
We realize these deadlines can be confusing. Our EEOC claim attorney can help you understand how much time you have and your options for filing with each enforcement agency.
How EEOC and DFEH Claims Work
When you bring a claim before either EEOC or DFEH, the applicable agency will investigate the complaint. Though your employer will be notified, it is illegal for them to retaliate against you for filing a claim or participating in a government investigation. You may need to take additional legal action if you do experience any retaliation, such as wrongful termination, demotion, reductions in hours or pay, or unfavorable work reassignments.
The EEOC has 180 days to investigate your claim. The DFEH gets significantly longer and generally has one full year to perform its investigation. If either agency does not resolve your complaint within their respective timeframes, you will get the right to file a private lawsuit against your employer. It is also possible that either agency may issue a Notice of Right to Sue before their respective deadlines.
If the EEOC or DFEH’s investigation concludes you were treated unlawfully, they will attempt to negotiate a settlement between you and your employer. If an adequate settlement cannot be reached, the EEOC or DFEH may choose to take legal action against your employer on your behalf. They could also, again, give you permission to sue.
Filing a private lawsuit after going through the EEOC or DFEH administrative process can help you obtain various forms of relief, including:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Compensatory damages (including expenses associated with job searches and compensation for physical and emotional suffering)
- Legal fees
- Reinstatement (if you were wrongfully terminated or demoted)
- The restoration of your original position (if your job responsibilities were altered on illegal grounds)
- A promotion (if you were refused advancement on illegal grounds)
- A job offer (if the employer refused to hire you on illegal grounds)
At Bennett Legal Services, our goal is to help you secure the relief and justice you deserve as quickly and painlessly as possible. Our EEOC claim lawyer is ready to fight for you, no matter the nature or complexity of your case. We can help you gather evidence, prepare your complaint, and advocate for you throughout the EEOC or DFEH process. If filing a private lawsuit becomes the only path forward, we are more than prepared to represent you in state and federal courts.