Navigating Age Discrimination in California: A Comprehensive Guide (Part 3)
When an employer discriminates against you because of your age, you can take legal action against them and recover damages. When it comes to age discrimination cases, the first step is to file a complaint with a government agency. In this third part of the article titled “Navigating Age Discrimination in California: A Comprehensive Guide,” we look at how to file an age discrimination complaint with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD).
Filing a Complaint With the CRD
The first step in filing an age discrimination complaint with the CRD is determining if you have a valid claim. Is the employer a covered entity under the law? Has the employer violated your right to be free from age discrimination? Also, you need to ask yourself if the deadline for filing your claim has passed. Generally, you have three years after the date of the alleged discriminatory act to file your claim with the CRD.
After determining that you have a valid case and filing a complaint, there are several things you need to gather. First, you must compile the specific facts and records, including the name and contact information of the employer. Second, you must collect copies of documents or other evidence related to your complaint. Lastly, you should gather any known witnesses’ names and contact information.
The next step is filing the intake form. The intake form can be filed in one of three ways. First, you can file the form online. To do this, you will create an account and use the Cal Civil Rights System, CCRS. Second, you can download the intake form, fill it out, and mail the filled form to the CRD. Third, you can file your intake form by calling the CRD.
After you file the intake form, you will have an interview with a CRD investigator, most likely over the phone. This interview is meant to determine if a formal complaint is in order. It is crucial that you cooperate with the investigator. If the CRD investigator finds that a complaint cannot be accepted because the laws that CRD enforces do not cover your allegations, the matter will be dismissed. If that happens, you will have the immediate right to file a lawsuit in court.
If the CRD determines the laws it enforces cover your allegations, it will prepare a complaint form and have you sign it. Then, the complaint will be delivered to the employer. After the employer responds, the CRD will most likely offer dispute resolution services. This will allow you and the employer to negotiate a resolution. If you and the employer cannot resolve the issue through negotiations, the CRD will initiate an investigation.
If it is discovered that the employer violated the law, the case will go to the CRD Legal Division. Otherwise, the case will be closed. Once the case is closed, you have the immediate right to file a lawsuit in court.
The CRD Legal Division may require you to go through mediation. If you cannot settle the issue through mediation, the CRD could file a lawsuit on your behalf against the employer. If the CRD does not pursue the claim, you can file a lawsuit in court.
Contact a California Employment Lawyer
If you need more information on age discrimination or suspect that you or someone you know has been a victim of age discrimination, contact a California employment lawyer.