Skip to main content

Summary of the Administrative Process Required Before Filing a Discrimination or Harassment Lawsuit

Posted by attorney Christine Adams

A case of employment discrimination , harassment, retaliation, denial of medical leave , denial of accommodations, pregnancy leave , or wrongful termination generally has a one year statute of limitations. The law requires that before bringing a lawsuit for a violation of the laws protecting employees from discrimination and harassment, you must file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In most cases it is preferable to file with the DFEH, because California state law provides greater protection for workers who have been treated in an unlawful manner. When you file a claim, you need to identify all people who treated you unfairly, what they did, and identify the basis of your claim. You should make sure that you have been thorough and all encompassing with your claim or you can be prohibited from adding additional claims later, for example, at trial. An experienced employment law attorney can guide you through the process. The DFEH will either investigate your claim and attempt to mediate your case, or you may request an immediate right to sue letter that allows you to proceed with a lawsuit. You must obtain a right to sue letter before bringing a lawsuit or you are subject to having your claim denied for failure to engage in the required administrative process.

Additional resources provided by the author

Author of this guide:

Was this guide helpful?