You do not have to endure racial slur or insult that creates a hostile working environment. The workload can be bearable, but an unequal labor treatment is too much for an employee belonging to a protected class.

The good news is you can seek help and the law entitles you to recover damages for your emotional distress, denied benefits, and missed employment opportunities.

Title VII of Civil Rights Act stipulates prohibition on discrimination in the workplace on the basis of skin color, ethnicity, race, gender, and religious beliefs. It provides protection for employees against unequal pay, refusal to grant employment opportunities and benefits, and hostile working environment.

The Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) implements this law.

You can file a claim with the labor commissioner and have proper legal representation before a hearing officer. You will be advised on applicable labor rights against discrimination. You will be given protection against retaliation acts (suspension, demotion, termination) from your employer.

Once you file the complaint, the California Labor Commissioner will require your employer to cooperate with an investigation.

You must file your formal complaint within the given time frame to California Labor Commission. Discrimination and retaliation complaints require a maximum of six months for filing the complaint.

Some employment violations may be filed from 1-2 years. Complaints that involve health and safety hazards must be filed within three months after an initial action is made.

The Process for Discrimination claim

1. Go to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and request a complaint form. You can download it from the DLSE website.

2. Mail it to:

Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

Discrimination Complaint Investigation Unit

2031 Howe Ave., Ste. 100

Sacramento, California 95825

3. Affix your signature, write the date, and attach documents that will substantiate your claim

4. Upon receiving the complaint, the DLSE will review or transfer it to Labor Commissioner Office and have a Retaliation Complaint Investigator (RCI) handle your case.

You can also choose to file a private lawsuit. If the case involves health and safety issue, you can file a separate suit with Federal OSHA.

5. The RCI investigator will communicate with you and the employer regarding the case and conduct a preliminary investigation. He/she can summon witness/es to clarify facts. The RCI investigator may encourage a settlement.

If the negotiation fails, the RCI investigator will submit a summary of findings to the Labor Commissioner.

6. The Labor Commissioner will review the report and render a determination for the case.

Consult with a Labor Rights Expert, Employment Law Attorney in Los Angeles to help you file the complaint.