The following links and resources are provided by the attorneys at Kaupp & Feinberg for the benefit of individuals in California and New York who are looking for information on employment, civil rights or personal injury law. If you find these resources helpful, feel free to add this page to your favorites for easiest access. If you did not find what you were looking for, or if you need assistance in a case of employment discrimination or unpaid wages, civil rights violations, an auto accident or other personal injury, please contact Kaupp & Feinberg to speak with one of our experienced and dedicated attorneys.
Employment Law & Civil Rights Under Federal Law
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) – The EEOC enforces employment discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and more. Applicants, employees and even former employees may be covered. If you have received an adverse employment action because of your race, color, sex/gender, religion, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability or genetic information, or if you have been retaliated against for complaining about discrimination or participating in an investigation, it may be appropriate to file a complaint with the EEOC.
Employment Law & Civil Rights Under California Law
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) – DFEH is the agency which investigates complaints of employment discrimination at the state level. The DFEH enforces the protections of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) which prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, mental and physical disability, medical condition, age, pregnancy, denial of medical and family care leave, or pregnancy disability leave (Government Code sections 12940,12945, 12945.2) and/or retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to one of these categories, or for reporting patient abuse in tax supported institutions. Thus, California law offers broader protection than Federal law
Human Rights Commission (“HRC”) – The City & County of San Francisco HRC prohibits discrimination based on still more factors than are covered by California state or federal law, including AIDS/HIV status, sexual orientation, height, weight, gender identity and creed.
U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (“DOL WHD”) – Wage & Hour investigates and enforces provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) covering minimum wage and overtime violations, as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and other federal labor laws. Visit their website for information on filing a wage claim or other labor law complaints. WHD also administers various programs for immigrant workers under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) – DLSE is the office of the California Labor Commissioner, established under the auspices of the Department of Industrial Relations. DLSE adjudicates wage claims, investigates retaliation or discrimination complaints and prosecutes labor law violations involving California labor laws and orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission. The DLSE website is a good resource for information on all manner of California wage and hour issues, including paid sick leave and allowable wage deductions.
California Employment Development Department (“EDD”) – EDD can help you find a job or file for unemployment or disability benefits.
California Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”) – If you are a teacher or other state or local public employee, you may be covered under PERB rules prohibiting unfair practices related to collective bargaining or union activity.
Employment Law & Civil Rights Under New York Law
In New York, a discrimination claim can be filed either with the state administrative agency, the New York Division of Human Rights (“DHR”) or the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). If you live in New York City, you can also file a discrimination claim with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“CHR”). The agencies have what is called a “work-sharing agreement,” which means that the agencies cooperate with each other to process claims. Filing a claim with each agency is unnecessary, as long as you indicate to one of the agencies that you want it to “cross-file” the claim with the other agencies. If you live in New York City and have an age discrimination claim, you should not file with CHR, as it does not have a work-sharing agreement for age discrimination claims.
The New York State and City anti-discrimination statutes cover some smaller employers not covered by federal law. Therefore, if your workplace has between 4 and 14 employees, you should file with the CHR (if you live in New York City) or DHR, as the EEOC enforces federal law, which covers only employers with 15 or more employees; otherwise, as explained below, you should file with the EEOC.
Filing with the CHR or DHR is not required to pursue a discrimination claim directly in court, but if you do not have an attorney, you may wish to see whether the CHR or DHR can assist you in resolving your claim without filing in court. CHR or DHR complaints must be filed within one year of the date you believe you were discriminated against.
Some attorneys recommend, however, that you do not file with the CHR or DHR (unless your workplace has fewer than 15 employees or you are not otherwise covered by federal law) because you cannot further pursue your state claim in court if you file with CHR or DHR, unless your case is dismissed for reasons of “administrative convenience.” (This is called an “election of remedies.” Filing with the EEOC first and cross-filing with the DHR or CHR is not considered an election of remedies, and does not prevent you from further pursuing your state claim.) If you wish to consult an attorney about taking your case, you should do so as early as possible, so that you do not miss your one-year filing deadline in the event you need the CHR or DHR’s assistance.
To file a claim with the CHR, if you live in New York City, contact their local office. More information about filing a claim with the CHR can be found at http://www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/home.html.
To file a claim with the DHR, contact the nearest office below. More information about filing a claim with the DHR can be found at http://www.nysdhr.com.
To file a claim with the EEOC, contact your local EEOC office below. More information about filing a claim with the EEOC can be found at http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/howtofil.html.
Personal Injury and Traffic Safety Resources
The State Bar of California offers an informative pamphlet called What Should I Do if I Have an Auto Accident, helping you know what to do if you are sued or hit by an uninsured driver, and providing helpful tips on what information to gather at the scene of the crash.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) offers videos and tips on driving safely and sharing the road with motorcycles and bicycles. Another good resource for motorcyclists and bicyclists, along with advice for motorists, is Yield to Life.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) provides information on vehicle safety and driving safety, including texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving. For an official government website devoted exclusively to the issue of distracted driving, go to Distraction.gov.
If you were injured in a truck accident, it may be helpful to review whether the trucker and trucking company were in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) regulations covering issues such as the driver’s maximum hours of service or the maximum allowable weight for the tractor-trailer. You can also review the trucking company’s accident and safety record by using the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (“SAFER”) database.
A couple of good resources for information on motorcycle safety and avoiding motorcycle accidents include the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or the American Motorcycle Association (“AMA”). At the AMA website, you can get a quick rundown of California motorcycle laws.
*Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice contact an attorney.