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Filing a complaint after workplace discrimination

Some workers from California may desire greater information about filing discrimination or retaliation complaints in the workplace. If someone feels that they have been denied employment or were terminated for an unjustified reason, he or she has the option of filing a complaint with the state labor commissioner.

In order to file a complaint related to retaliation or discrimination, the complaint must usually be initiated within six months of the incident that is subject to review. Someone filing a complaint must complete DLSE Form RCI 1. The form should then be mailed to the offices of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in either Sacramento or Santa Ana, depending on whether the incident occurred to the north or south of Bakersfield. The complaint must be printed and mailed in order to be considered valid.

Some workers are understandably reticent to file a complaint for fear of retaliation. However, all California employees are entitled to consult with the office of the California Labor Commissioner about their workplace conditions. It is not permissible for employers to retaliate against someone for their having solicited information or provided it to a government agency.

It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain whether someone was illegally discharged or denied employment out of discrimination. These factors may be subject to some form of investigation or policy review before a complaint can be effectively pursued. If someone suspects that they have been the victim of workplace retaliation or discrimination, he or she may wish to consult with an attorney about their situation. In addition to reviewing a complainant's circumstances and offering counsel, an attorney may be able to aid someone in assembling and filing whatever documentation may be necessary to substantiate their case.

Source: State of California Department of Industrial Relations, "How to file a retaliation/discrimination complaint", October 24, 2014

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