How to File a Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charge in California

You may wish to file a wrongful termination discrimination charge in California if you have been discriminated against at work because of your sex, race, gender identity or religion, among other reasons. When filing a charge of discrimination in California,you must first file it with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. The exception to this rule is if you are suing under the Equal Pay Act, in which case you can go directly to court without filing a charge. If you wish to protect your identity when filing a wrongful termination discrimination charge, then you may have another person or agency file a charge on your behalf. Continue reading this page to find out more about how to file a charge of employment discrimination in California.

Filing a Charge of Discrimination in California

If you wish to file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, then you should bear in mind there is a time limit. To file a wrongful termination discrimination charge, you have 180 days from the day the act of discrimination took place. In certain circumstances, you may file a wrongful termination discrimination charge within 300 days from the day the act of discrimination took place. For age discrimination charges, the law is slightly different. If you file a charge, then you may be asked to try to resolve the dispute through mediation.

Mediation offers an opportunity to discuss and settle the issue in an informal way, with the help of an independent mediator. Mediation is completely confidential. If you are unable to reach a resolution through mediation, then the charge will be handed over to an investigator. If the investigation does not find a legal violation, then you will have permission to file a suit in a court of law. If a violation is found, the EEOC will attempt to reach a voluntary settlement with your employer. If this does not work out, then your case will be given to the EEOC legal staff to pursue. Learn more about filing wrongful discrimination charges by downloading our free guide.

Filing a Wrongful Termination Discrimination Charge in California and Mediation

Mediation is the first step to filing a charge of discrimination in California before your suit is filed in a court of law. The main benefit is that it allows you an opportunity to resolve a charge of discrimination in a friendly way that meets your individual needs. Resolving a case through mediation can also happen much faster than filing a charge of discrimination in court. On average, it takes less than three months to settle a discrimination case in mediation, whereas it can take at least six months if the charge goes under investigation. The EEOC’s mediation process is fair and efficient. Both the employee and employer are asked if they will participate in mediation. Participation is completely voluntary, and if either party turns it down, then the charge will be handed over to an investigator. If both parties agree to mediate, then the EEOC will schedule a meeting with a trained mediator. If an agreement is not reached, then the charge will be investigated. An agreement which is reached during mediation will be signed by both parties, and is enforceable in court.

As an alternative to filing a charge of discrimination in court, mediation is often effective; a typical session lasts around three to four hours, and is free. If you have agreed to mediation instead of directly filing a charge of discrimination in California, then you may bring your attorney to the mediation if you wish, though this is not mandatory. There are certain steps to filing a wrongful termination discrimination charge if mediation does not work out.

How to File an EEOC Employment Discrimination Charge in California

If you have chosen not to use mediation or if mediation has failed, you must file a wrongful termination discrimination charge under investigation. Although you may file a wrongful termination discrimination charge at any of the EEOC field offices throughout the United States, your case will be handled at your local EEOC office. California has specific agencies which enforce laws prohibiting employment discrimination. These agencies are known as Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs). In this case, if you file a discrimination case with either agency, then it will be automatically shared with the other agency. This dual filing process helps to protect your rights under state and federal law.

How to File a Charge of Employment Discrimination

You have several different options for filing a charge of discrimination in California, and which one you choose is entirely up to you. You may claim wrongful termination in California in person at your local EEOC office. Each office has procedures for making an appointment and for walk-ins. Check your local field office for details. Take as much information as you can to your appointment. Though you cannot file a wrongful termination discrimination charge by telephone, you can call your local office to get the process started. You may also file a charge by mail. Download our complimentary guide to review more details about how to prepare for EEOC filings of discrimination.


What Kind of Employment Development Services Are Available in California?

If you are currently unemployed and need help finding a job, the state of California offers unemployment benefits to eligible applicants, in order to help them get by while pursuing work. In addition to financial assistance, the Employment Development Division of California also offers training benefits, which allow unemployed individuals to learn new skills and get a higher education so that they can earn a better living. Find out more about these employment services by downloading our guide.


What Education Assistance Is Available in California?

Just as unemployed individuals can benefit from services offered by the state, so too can college students. California students can qualify for financial aid from the government, such as loans and grants, which can help them cover the costs of higher education. Find out how you can get financial assistance for your schooling by downloading our guide.