What Protections Do the Fair Employment and Housing Department Provide

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: November 6, 2020

Everyone should have a fair chance at getting a job or the opportunity to reach their career goals. Unfortunately, sometimes employers discriminate against employees making it harder for certain individuals to obtain or even keep their job.

In California, employment laws protect individuals from these types of discrimination.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing Los Angeles (DFEH) is the state agency responsible for enforcing California’s civil rights laws. DFEH enforces fair housing and employment laws designed to make it illegal to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on a protected characteristic.

What’s Protected Under DFEH?

Under California employment law, job applicants and employees are protected from illegal discrimination in the workplace based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, creed, religion, age (40 and over), and disability (mental and physical), and a litany of other protected classes.

A few of the other protected characteristics include sex, gender (including pregnancy, breastfeeding, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation.

Medical condition, genetic information, military or veteran status, and marital status are also all protected categories and cannot be used to discriminate against an employee or job application.

When is Discrimination Prohibited?

California employment laws prohibit discrimination in all business practices including advertisements, applications, interviews, screening, hiring, promoting, transferring, separating, or terminating employees.

Discrimination is also prohibited in working conditions, compensation, participation in training programs, apprenticeship programs, or employee unions.

Remedies Available for Employment Discrimination

The state of California offers several remedies to victims of employment discrimination.

Possible remedies include back pay (lost past earnings), front pay (lost future earnings), reinstatement or hiring, promotion, out-of-pocket expenses, training, policy changes, damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, reasonable accommodations, and attorney’s fees/costs to compensate those who fight for you.

However, before a victim can claim these remedies, certain steps and procedures must be followed. An experienced attorney with in-depth knowledge of this area of law can help navigate the necessary legal paperwork and guide you along the entire process.

The Complaint Process with DFEH

If you feel you’ve been a victim of employment discrimination, you may file a complaint with DFEH. The agency will evaluate the facts of the case and determine if they will accept it for investigation.

With employment cases, the statute of limitation to file a complaint is (3) three years from the date you faced your last adverse employment action. This is commonly the date you were fired, but an adverse employment action can a litany of other things, such as a demotion, a transfer, a stripping of your workplace responsibilities, etc. However there are certain set of facts that require you file within one year of the date you were “harmed.”  Additionally, with employment cases, you must obtain a Right-to-Sue notice from DFEH before filing your lawsuit in court.

DFEH’s complaint process is highly complex and the investigation process is even more involved. If you believe you have a case, it’s highly advisable that you speak with an employment attorney so one can help you navigate this process.

Consult with a DFEH Lawyer Today

If you’re a victim of employment discrimination, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a lawyer.  Employers should not get away with taking advantage of you and our expert attorneys will make sure you get the justice you deserve. We are confident that our experienced lawyers can obtain the maximum compensation for your case and offer a “no win, no fee” guarantee. Contact Mesriani Law Group’s office in Los Angeles today to speak with an attorney that will fight for you.