Resources for employment related cases
There are many different types of cases related to someone’s job. There can be cases for unpaid wages, wrongful termination (being fired against the law), discrimination, sexual harassment, failing to keep you safe at work, injuries on the job (worker’s comp issues), and more. Some of these can overlap.
Employment cases, no matter what type, can be very complex. Before you pursue a case in court, find out about other resources that can help. It is a good idea to talk with an employment lawyer about your situation. In some cases, a state or federal government agency may be able to help you.
Legal resources and where to find a lawyer
Legal Aid at Work is a California legal aid agency that provides attorneys and over 100 Fact Sheets on different areas of employment law, including equal pay, overtime, minimum wage protection, discrimination, what to do if you get hurt at work, and much more.
- They also have sample letters and toolkits you can use for many things related to work, like asking for accommodations at work, representing yourself before the Labor Commissioner, guide to asking for workplace safety and other protections, asking for final wages or paid sick leave, and more.
Read about laws that prohibit retaliation and discrimination at work on the Labor Commissioner’s web page and see Frequently Asked Questions about employment and rights of workers.
LawHelpCA.org/Work is a resource website that can help you find a labor and employment lawyer in your area.
California Employment Lawyers Association is an organization of over 1200 California lawyers who specialize in employment law. You can search for an employment lawyer through their site.
State and federal agencies
There are several state and federal government offices that handle employment cases. You may be in a situation where you should first go to these administrative agencies to get your case resolved. Here are only a few:
- Division of Labor Standards Enforcement can help if you believe your employer owes you for unpaid wages (including overtime pay) or hasn’t given you rest and meal periods or other things you have the right to, has retaliated against you by firing, demoting or punishing you, or pays you less than someone of another sex, race or ethnicity who does essentially the same work as you.
- California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal OSHA) can help if your employer does not provide a safe work environment if you get fired or discriminated against for complaining about the lack of safety at work, and more.
- Division of Workers’ Compensation keeps track of workers’ comp claims and provides administrative and judicial services to help resolve disputes around worker’s comp benefits.
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is in charge of enforcing California’s civil rights laws and can help if you have been discriminated against at work because of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, religion, age (40 and over), disability, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency in charge of enforcing federal laws against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability.