One of the most important aspects of filing a racial discrimination claim is being aware of the statute of limitations. This law sets a specific time frame within which a claim must be filed, and it depends on which agency you choose to file a formal complaint with.
Deadline to File with California’s Civil Rights Department (CRD)
Individuals have a longer window of time to file a racial discrimination claim with the California Civil Rights Department. Specifically, you have three years from the date of the last discriminatory act to initiate proceedings with this department. This extended timeframe can be crucial for those who may require more time to gather evidence or come forward with their claims. The CRD will investigate and may issue you a right to sue, which allows you one year to pursue a lawsuit.
Deadline to File with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
When filing a racial discrimination claim with the federal EEOC, the timeline is shorter. Individuals have 180 days from the date of the discriminatory act to file a claim with the EEOC, but in many cases, that deadline can be extended to 300 days. After the EEOC issues a notice of right to sue, you typically have only 90 days to initiate a lawsuit.
Can I Be Fired for Reporting Racial Discrimination?
It is illegal for an employer to fire or retaliate against an employee for reporting racial discrimination. This protection is provided under both state and federal laws.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
Under FEHA, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for engaging in protected activities, which includes reporting racial discrimination. If an employer takes adverse action against an employee, such as termination, demotion, or harassment, in response to them reporting racial discrimination, the employer may be held liable for retaliation.
Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964
Additionally, federal law prohibits retaliation against employees who report racial discrimination. This applies across all states, including California.
How an Employment Law Attorney Can Help You
If you have been subjected to racial discrimination, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is advisable. Gathering evidence and building a strong case can be time-sensitive. They can advise and help you gather relevant documents, determine the deadline for your claim, explain your rights, and help you with the formal complaint and lawsuit from start to finish.
Employment Discrimination Lawyers are skilled negotiators. They can engage with your employer or their legal representation to attempt to reach a settlement without going through a lengthy legal process. This can lead to a more expedient and potentially less stressful resolution. However, if negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome, your lawyer will represent you in court to fight for your rights.
Taking prompt action and seeking legal counsel from a qualified Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer is key to protecting your rights and ensuring your claim is pursued effectively. You do not have to face this process alone—arrange a free consultation today.