Filing a sexual harassment complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the second major step you should take. First, you should consult with a lawyer who is familiar with the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and who can assist you with filing properly.
What Is The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing?
The DFEH plays a critical role in sexual harassment complaints. It is the state agency in charge of the protection of residents from employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination and hate violence. It is regulated by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC).
It holds the sole governmental authority for the state of California to investigate and resolve disputes. This will either be done through a dispute resolution process or litigation, if evidence of harassment or a hostile work environment can be found by the DFEH. An informed decision about whether asking the DFEH to investigate the matter or to request an immediate “right to sue letter” should be made with an experienced California sexual harassment attorney.
The administrative process of the DFEH can be tedious, intimidating and time consuming. Our attorneys can work to fast-track this process in your best interests, and we often have more financial resources than the government that can be used to investigate the complaint.
Do You Need An Attorney To File A Sexual Harassment Complaint?
Your sexual harassment complaint must go through the DFEH in order to bring a claim in state court, and the DFEH is the only authority that issues the “right to sue”. This step should be approached carefully, and attorney representation should be strongly considered. A negative result from the DFEH investigation can undermine your civil case.
Working with an attorney will provide unique insight, strength and comprehensiveness to your complaint. An experienced attorney will ensure that your claim is filed properly, work to prevent delays and begin preparing your case before your employer can begin preparing its defense.
Resolving A Sexual Harassment Complaint In Litigation
Working with a lawyer from the beginning speeds up the process and allows for pursuit of unlimited compensation for damages. When the DFEH investigates the complaint, it attempts to resolve the dispute between the parties first. The DFEH is not your advocate. It acts as a neutral fact-finder in the investigative process, and it may have a different agenda than you do.
At Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, we investigate your claim, and we collect and document evidence as your advocate. We obtain witness testimony and work with expert witnesses to establish the damages and true value of your claim. Our law firm can greatly enhance your case, and we fully finance all aspects of the case in pursuit of the fair compensation you deserve for emotional, physical, psychological, career and monetary damages.
The DFEH website provides useful information about your rights and the complaint process. Many of the sexual harassment cases we handle are settled prior to trial. A number of cases are settled favorably without need for litigation and in lieu of the full DFEH process.
Experienced And Helpful California Sexual Harassment Attorney
Contact Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP, to speak with an attorney today. Call us at (510) 433-1000 toll free to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation.