In California, workplace discrimination is illegal when it is based on a worker’s protected status. While discrimination is unlawful, it can still be difficult to prove. People who file hostile work environment discrimination charges must show that the discriminatory acts were severe and pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment. However, the continuing violation doctrine might help people to prove their discrimination complaints.
The continuing violation doctrine
Under state and federal law, people who are the victims of workplace discrimination or harassment have a limited time to file complaints with the EEOC or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. People must file their discrimination charges with either agency no later than 300 days after the alleged discriminatory act. However, since a hostile work environment discrimination charge requires a person to show that the discrimination was pervasive and severe, it might be difficult for a claimant to meet the required burden of proof if forced to file a complaint within 300 days of the first discriminatory act.
The continuing violation doctrine provides a solution to this problem. Under this doctrine, people can file complaints with the EEOC or the DFEH within 300 days of any discriminatory act. As long as one instance of discrimination is within the limitation period, the claim can be filed.
People who are the victims of illegal workplace discrimination might have trouble performing the tasks of their jobs and might be forced to quit. People whose working environments are hostile because of discriminatory acts directed at them might want to talk to an experienced employment discrimination attorney. A lawyer might help people understand whether they have grounds to file a discrimination charge and help them to meet the deadline for filing their complaint.