You find yourself bullied and harassed at your workplace. You're called names based on your ethnicity, or your religious beliefs and practices are brought into question, or you experience unwanted touching and sexual advances. You report these incidents to your employer. You are fired. Now what?
Many people find themselves at a loss when their livelihood is taken from them and are frequently confused as to where to turn. In these instances, one must know that time is precious. If you wish to file suit or take action for termination/firing, bullying, or harassment, the first step is to ensure your time is preserved.
For claims based on the federal law that safeguards against discrimination, an employee or former employee has 180 days from the time the unlawful action took place to file with the federal entity, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). On the state level and for claims violating state law based on discrimination, a person has up to 1 year to file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). These time windows are called “statutes of limitations.” If your statute of limitations expires, then the claims do also.
Therefore, to ensure your precious time is in fact preserved, contact an attorney who can determine which entity needs to be involved. It's beneficial to contact an attorney sooner rather than later as to preserve your claims.