Though society has moved in a positive direction when it comes to discrimination, discrimination lawyers are essential. No act of discrimination is acceptable, but discriminatory activity continues to be commonplace for Americans at work.
The law makes this clear. Discrimination is expressly forbidden by law, regardless of the state in which you reside.
Discrimination doesn’t have to be obvious, or aggressive. It can be subtle and insidious. It’s often difficult to identify discrimination until multiple occurrences of discriminatory activity have taken place. However, that’s where discrimination attorneys can help.
If you believe that you’ve been discriminated against, you may have a right to sue and recover damages under the law. Speak to an experienced discrimination attorney before you do anything on your own.
Lawyers who specialize in exercising the rights provided to you under anti-discrimination laws such as the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and more. Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we can connect you to one of the skilled lawyers for discrimination in our network for a confidential, free consultation today.
What Qualifies As Discrimination?
Put simply, discrimination means treating someone differently – and unfairly – because they have certain characteristics, or because of who they are. In the US, certain characteristics are protected, meaning it’s illegal to treat someone differently on these grounds. Protected characteristics include:
- Sexual identity
- Sexual preference
- Disability status
- Veteran status
- Religious beliefs
If you can prove that your employer discriminated against you, then you may have a discrimination claim. Experienced discrimination attorneys can walk you through the process – contact us now to arrange a free consultation with an attorney.
Let’s explore two examples.
Suppose that your employer is a highly-religious Christian, and terminates your employment after finding out that you are non-practicing (i.e., you don’t attend church). This is illegal discrimination, as it discriminates against you on the basis of your religion. You could sue for damages.
Suppose that your employer is a New York Yankees fan, and you are a Boston Red Sox fan. Your employer despises the fact that you support their team’s historical rival, and as a result, they terminate your employment.
Though firing an employee for their sports fandom is a rather immature decision, it is not illegal — it is not a protected category under the law.
Discrimination In The Workplace
Discrimination often occurs in the workplace, which can have significant ramifications for an employee’s ability to earn — and to grow their career over time. Fortunately, the law does attempt to protect employees from discriminatory activity in the workplace.
As an employee, you are protected not only by federal anti-discrimination laws, but also by state discrimination laws (which may provide additional, stricter protections than the federal baseline). Anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment, including:
- Hiring and firing
- Salary and benefits
- Fringe benefits
- Retirement plans
- Promotions, layoffs, transfers
- Placing job advertisements
- Recruiting new employees
- Training programs
- Disability leave
- Improper disclosure of information
- Unfair treatment
- And more
For example, suppose that you are denied a bonus, which you feel is unfair given your sales metrics. You investigate the issue further and discover that your employer denied the bonus on the basis of your gender. You would have an actionable discrimination claim, for which you could sue to recover damages.
Filing a Lawsuit for Discrimination at Work
If you want to file a lawsuit under federal law, then you need to follow certain steps.
- You must first file the claim with a local Equality Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is known as a Charge of Discrimination.
- You can’t file a lawsuit until you’ve reported the claim to the EEOC.
- You need to file the charge within 180 days of the incident – otherwise, you typically lose your right to sue.
Different time limits may apply depending on the type of discrimination claim you wish to make. The discrimination lawyers in our network can explain how the process works in more detail.
Retaliation — How Employers React To Your Complaints
It’s not uncommon for employers to retaliate when an employee challenges discriminatory behavior.
For example, an employer may choose to “punish” an employee for reporting discrimination to a state agency on employment equality.
Employer retaliatory conduct can vary quite a bit from case-to-case. Whereas one employer might do something as “obvious” as terminating your employment, another employer may do something more subtle and insidious, such as creating a hostile workplace environment for you, or denying you a reasonable employment-related request.
Fortunately, this sort of retaliatory behavior is illegal under the law. No matter what type of discrimination you’re facing, an experienced attorney can help you deal with employer retaliation.
How Much Is Your Wrongful Termination or Discrimination Claim Worth?
Understandably, those who have suffered discrimination are curious about the potential value of their claim. After all, they may want to know whether it’s “worth it” to pursue the claim and go through the trouble of a possible high-conflict situation.
As any experienced discrimination lawyer will tell you, there’s no simple answer to what a claim is worth. The value of your discrimination claim depends on various factors, including:
- The nature of your employer’s behavior;
- Whether you lost wages due to the employer’s conduct;
- If the discriminatory conduct caused you to lose job benefits; and
- The emotional distress you experienced due to your employer’s conduct.
Lawyers for discrimination claims can advise what your claim may be worth based on the facts of your case.
Let’s explore a brief example for clarity.
Suppose that you are discriminated against in the workplace due to your age. The company is attempting to push you out, and after a bogus justification, they fire you. After the firing, you are unable to secure work for another six months.
With an annual salary of $100,000, you would be entitled to $50,000 in damages at minimum — there would likely also be additional damages due to emotional distress, reputational damage, and other issues.
Every claim is unique. At 1-800-THE-LAW2, we’re committed to helping employees like you get legal help you deserve. Contact us now to arrange a free consultation with an employment discrimination lawyer.
Why You Need a Discrimination Attorney At Your Side
Employment law is inherently complex. However, discrimination claims are even more nuanced, and if you’re unfamiliar with this area of law, the procedures can be challenging.
- There are time limits involved in filing discrimination claims. If you don’t file on time, you could lose your right to sue. Hiring an attorney prevents this from happening.
- A discrimination lawyer can identify the strengths and weaknesses in your case and present the strongest argument based on the facts.
- Discrimination claims raise serious legal issues. An experienced discrimination attorney will treat your case with the respect it deserves.
Hire Employment Discrimination Lawyers Sooner Rather Than Later
Given the procedural complexities — and the consequences of delay — it’s critical to consult an attorney as soon as possible after discrimination has occurred. There are many other benefits to consulting an attorney early, too:
- The earlier you get started, the more you’ll remember the details. Starting early gives discrimination lawyers enough time to thoroughly examine the case, gather enough evidence and present a persuasive argument.
- An early start enables the attorney to negotiate a settlement in a case before the employer has time to develop a more cohesive defensive strategy.
Employment Discrimination Lawyers
Tired of searching for “discrimination attorneys near me” and sifting through the search results? At 1-800-THE-LAW2, we’re here to help you find a discrimination attorney quickly and easily. Lawyers for employment discrimination will review your claim, determine if you have a case, and explain how you should proceed.
Your initial consultation is free and it only takes a few minutes to set up. Once an attorney takes on your case, they’ll work with a team of experts to get you the best result possible based on your circumstances. Get a free consultation – call us to talk to a lawyer.