Employee discrimination and retaliation complaints are handled by a division of the California Department of Industrial Relations. It is not necessary for you to abandon a personal legal action against an employer to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. In fact, it may be in your best interests to speak with an employment attorney before taking any action, particularly if you are seeking whistleblower protection.
A complaint must be filed with DLSE within six months of a claimed worker discrimination or retaliation event. There are a few exceptions to the filing period, imposing both shorter and longer deadlines, which an attorney can outline.