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How to File an EEOC Complaint in California? Step by Step Guide

Emanuel Shirazi

Although America is meant to be the land of opportunity and equality, many people face discrimination on a daily basis. This treatment is inappropriate in any situation, but it can be devastating in a workplace setting. Workplace discrimination can ruin jobs, relationships, and careers if left unchecked.

Fortunately, there are legal options for those facing discrimination at work. The law does not tolerate discriminatory behavior and protects employees who report mistreatment based on a protected class. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that helps workers achieve equality and fair treatment in the workplace. California has a similar agency called the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”).

Shirazi Law Firm very strongly recommends you do not file such complaints on your own and that you contact an attorney so they can do it on your behalf.

Filing a complaint with the EEOC/DFEH is a key step in resolving your discrimination claim. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the prospect of getting the government involved in their issue. Our team is here to help you take proper action when facing discrimination in the workplace.

What Is Discrimination?

Discrimination is unfair, unequal, or poor treatment based on a protected classification. Protected classes include:

  • Race, national origin, or ethnicity
  • Gender or gender expression
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Disability status
  • Pregnancy status

In the workplace, discrimination can occur in many different ways. Examples include:

  • Firing an employee because they are pregnant
  • Firing an employee who needs medical leave or accommodations
  • Demoting an employee because they are gay
  • Leaving an employee out of important, relevant information because of their religious beliefs
  • Failing to hire a qualified candidate because they are transgender
  • Refusing to provide reasonable accommodation to someone because of their age

This is not an exhaustive list of the ways that discrimination can occur. If you suspect or believe that you are being discriminated against, contact a trusted Los Angeles Employment Lawyer right away.

Filing an EEOC or DFEH Complaint

The EEOC and DFEH make the complaint-filing process fairly straightforward. You may complete the application over the phone or online. To do so, you should have the following information ready:

  • The name, contact information, and address of the person being discriminated against. This may be you, or it may be someone else if you are reporting on their behalf.
  • The name, contact information, and address of the person who is perpetuating the discrimination. This may be a boss, manager, HR representative, etc.
  • A basic description of what happened.
  • The dates that the discriminatory action occurred.

Although you do not need legal representation to file this complaint, you should 100% talk to a lawyer first.

Why Reporting to the EEOC/DFEH Is Important

If you decide to file a personal claim through an attorney, you may be able to get compensation for the discrimination that you have endured. However, filing a report with the EEOC/DFEH is also important. Not only can the federal government take additional action, but they can also work to ensure that the treatment is not repeated. You may be protecting others from the same type of treatment that you have endured.

If the action is repeated again by the same individual or company, the EEOC will have a record of your complaint. This may indicate an ongoing problem, and it allows the agency to work to resolve the root problem rather than simply resolving individual incidents.


Q: How Do I File a Complaint in California?

A: You may file your EEOC complaint over the phone or in person at an EEOC office. There are accessibility and assistance resources available for those who need additional help. If you are pursuing a personal claim to get compensation, it is helpful to have your attorney present for the phone conversation or in-person meeting at the EEOC office.

Be sure to have contact information for the person who perpetrated the discrimination, the victim, and any details of what happened, including dates.

DFEH complaints can be filed online.

Q: What Are the Three Steps of the EEOC Process?

A: The three steps for an EEOC application are:

  1. Collect the contact information and address of the person discriminated against.
  2. Collect the contact information and address of the person who has been discriminatory.
  3. Relay a brief description of all incidents and the dates on which they occurred.

Fortunately, the application process is fairly simple and straightforward, and there are few barriers to filing. If you need assistance, contact an employment attorney from Shirazi Law Firm, PC.

Q: What Is Job Discrimination?

A: Job discrimination is poor treatment in the workplace because of a protected trait. Protected traits include:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Race
  • Age (Over 40)
  • Gender and gender expression
  • Pregnancy status
  • Disability status
  • Religion

Everyone deserves to be treated fairly in the workplace and have equal employment opportunities. If you are denied this basic right, you can take legal action both through the EEOC and with the help of a qualified employment attorney from Shirazi Law Firm, PC.

Contact Shirazi Law Firm, PC

Our team has many years of experience in employment law. Although we previously worked for employers, we now represent only employees in California. Our experience with employment law on both sides gives our clients an advantage in their cases. We believe we can represent you properly and completely.

To schedule a consultation, or collect more information, contact Shirazi Law Firm, PC, today.

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