You may be familiar with well-known federal laws such as the Civil Rights Act and the Patriot Act. However, what you may not know is that the vast majority of rules that regulate your day-to-day life come from state and local governments.
California is no exception to this general rule. The California Department of Industrial Relations is the overarching regulatory agency that manages everything that has to do with labor and employment law.
DIR is the agency with which you can file a wage, health or other complaints against your employer. It will also investigate your claim whether it is wage, safety or workers' compensation. Finally, it will adjudicate disputes you may have against your employer. The DIR is the all-encompassing organization that promulgates rules, investigates incidents and renders rulings.
If you have a wage dispute, discrimination claim or safety concern, it is more likely than not that the DIR will be the first agency to investigate and prosecute your claim. But it is likely that there are complicated rules that govern how the federal and DIR rules interact.
As such, you may wish to seek the advice from an attorney before filing any claims or seeking redress against your employer for a wage or discrimination matter. You do not want to risk precluding yourself from filing a more advantageous claim later because you acted too hastily.
Speaking with an experienced employment law attorney may allow you to fully explore all of the legal avenues for which you may seek recourse. California provides extensive protections for employees. Make sure you do not focus on just the federal agencies. An attorney may be able to find the best way to get the compensation you need for your employment law matter.