Employment Law Firm Serving Concord, California
Stephen Danz and Associates is a statewide California employee-side law firm representing employees in and around Concord. What distinguishes us is our size, experience, resources, and knowledge of the local courts. In Concord, our firm has represented the unique needs of each of the clients that have reached out to us. We hold our reputation in the highest regard and provide unwavering commitment to the hundreds of clients we have represented. Our attorneys have years of experience advocating for our clients alongside of agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor. We are highly specialized and handle complex employment lawsuits where private individuals trust us to bring forth their cases in local, state and federal courts.
The Basics: Most Common Form of Discrimination is the Violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits discrimination and retaliation based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, medical condition, genetic information, physical and mental disability, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or sexual orientation, pregnancy, or taking family care leave. However, FEHA first requires exhaustion of its administrative remedies prior to pursuing a FEHA civil action. Contact our office if you have any questions regarding the process to file an administrative complaint within one year after the action of discrimination, subject to certain exceptions. Upon receipt of a right-to-sue notice from the agency, an employee has one year from the date of that notice to file a civil suit.
FEHA supplements, but does not preempt or replace other state laws, including the common law, that prohibit or restrict employment discrimination. Moreover, although an employee must exhaust the FEHA administrative remedy before bringing a civil action under FEHA or seeking any remedies provided by FEHA, exhaustion of the administrative remedy is not required before filing a civil action for damages alleging non-statutory causes of action. Remedies in court actions include compensatory and punitive damages (in severe cases) and attorneys’ fees as well as back pay and injunctive relief.
What if the Employee is Discriminated Against for Filing Claim with Labor Commissioner?
Under Labor Code Section 98.6, the law prohibits discharge of an employee and discrimination against an employee or applicant based on any of the following:
- The employee or applicant engaged in protected conduct.
- The employee or applicant filed a bona fide complaint or instituted any proceeding with the Labor Commissioner.
- The employee or applicant testified or will testify in any such proceeding or exercised “any rights” afforded the employee or applicant.
The Legislature intended the phrase “any rights” to refer to rights otherwise protected by the Labor Code.
In addition, an employer, or a person acting for or on behalf of the employer, may not retaliate against an employee because the employee is a family member of a person who has, or is perceived to have, engaged in any protected conduct, so long as the lawful conduct occurring during nonwork hours away from the employer’s premises involves the exercise of employee rights otherwise covered.
What are Remedies for Violation of the Labor Code Section 98.6?
Reinstatement and reimbursement of lost wages and benefits are the most common remedies. It is a misdemeanor for an employer to refuse to hire or promote an employee or former employee who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or promotion by a grievance procedure, arbitration, or hearing authorized by law.
An employee may file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) within six months after an alleged violation of section 98.6. The six-month period may be extended for good cause. The employee may file concurrently with the United States Department of Labor, within 30 days after the occurrence of the violation. On the filing of a complaint, the DLSE undertakes an investigation of the complaint, and the Labor Commissioner makes a determination within 60 days. Either party may appeal to the Director of Industrial Relations within 10 days following notification of the Labor Commissioner’s determination, and the Director is required to notify the parties of his or her determination within 10 days of the appeal. If the Labor Commissioner dismisses the complaint, the employee may file a civil action. Complete the online form or call our office for straight talk regarding such steps.
The rights and remedies provided by Labor Code Section 98.7 are not exclusive. Additionally, in the enforcement of Labor Code Section 98.7, an individual is not required to exhaust administrative remedies or procedures.
Child Day Care Facilities
(Health & Safety Code Section 1596.70 et seq.)
The California Child Day Care Facilities Act is a comprehensive statutory scheme governing the licensing and staffing of various childcare facilities. Under the Act, no employer may discriminate against an employee who makes a good faith complaint to a regulatory agency or an employer covered under the Act regarding violations of the law by the employer. An employee who is discriminated against in violation of this provision must, in most cases, pursue a complaint through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.