In order to sue in California, you need a Right-to-Sue letter. The two agencies that oversee issuing Right-to-Sue letters are the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and the DFEH (Department of Fair Employment & Housing). The EEOC is the federal agency and the DFEH is the California state agency. A Right to Sue letter from one is the same as a Right-to-Sue letter from the other.

Sometimes employees tell us that they do not know the real reason why they were fired. This makes it very difficult to know what to sue for, however, because employers tend to play the same games over and over again, often during the initial interview with an attorney, it becomes obvious why you were really fired. Finding out this answer is very important. Under Labor Code Section 1198.5, you have the right to your personnel file, which sometimes holds the answer to why you were fired.

What Basis Does An Employer Have To Refuse To Tell An Employee Why They Were Fired?

California is an at-will employment state. Unless you are a member of a union, work for the government, or have an employment contract (like a professional athlete), you are an at-will employee and you can be fired for any legal reason. You also have the right to quit work at any time. However, an employer is never allowed to fire an employee for an illegal reason. So, rather than do that, the employer will come up with an alternative reason (called a pretext) and may or may not share that false reason with the employee. Once we obtain your personnel file, we might be able to discern what the real reason is. Also, because employers tend to play the same games over and over again, often during the initial interview with an attorney, it becomes obvious why you were really fired.

What Happens Once A Company Receives An EEOC Charge Of Discrimination?

What happens once a company receives a charge of discrimination depends on whether the employee requests an immediate Right to Sue letter, or whether the terminated employee has asked the EEOC to investigate the complaint. That decision is the right of the employee. If the EEOC is investigating, the employer must provide the EEOC with a written response. After that response, the EEOC may ask for further elaboration and then will either decide to take on the case themselves or issue a Right-to-Sue letter.  If you have no idea why you were fired, asking for an EEOC investigation may be the best way to get the employer to state its purported non-discriminatory reason for the termination.

What Happens Once A Company Receives An DFEH Charge Of Discrimination?

What happens once a company receives a charge of discrimination depends on whether the employee requests an immediate Right to Sue letter, or whether the terminated employee has asked the DFEH to investigate the complaint. That decision is the right of the employee. If the DFEH is investigating, the employer must provide the DFEH with a written response. After that response, the DFEH may ask for further elaboration and then will either decide to take on the case themselves or issue a Right-to-Sue letter.  If you have no idea why you were fired, asking for an DFEH investigation may be the best way to get the employer to state its purported non-discriminatory reason for the termination.

For more information on Agencies Overseeing Employment Discrimination, an initial consultation is your next step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 630-1500 today.