Employment Discrimination Attorney
Fighting for Victims of Employment Discrimination
Federal law forbids employers from making employment decisions based on an employee’s race, religion, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy status, disability, genetic information, or age (if 40 or over). This means you cannot be fired, laid off, retaliated against, or treated differently because you belong to one of these federally protected classes. Many states and local municipalities have implemented their own laws that expand these protections.
If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace or during a recruitment process, you have the right to file a legal claim against the employer. However, you will only have a very limited time to do so. Our employment discrimination lawyer has 35 years of experience bringing these complaints before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as state and federal agencies and courts. Our team at Bennett Legal Services is committed to holding employers who discriminate accountable for misconduct, and we will pursue the maximum compensation available in your case.
Employment Discrimination During the Interview Process
Employers cannot make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s membership in a protected class. Discriminatory intent in the recruitment process is often difficult to prove, but you may be able to find clues in job postings and the questions asked in interviews.
Job advertisements cannot include discriminatory language. For example, an ad cannot, in most cases, ask for candidates of a particular religion or race. There are some narrow exceptions for situations where someone’s membership in a protected class is an essential part of a job. A church seeking a new minister is generally allowed to ask for candidates who belong to their specific religious denomination, for example.
Interviewers cannot ask discriminatory questions. Some discriminatory questions may be obvious, while others may be less so. Generally, an interviewer should only ask questions about your qualifications for the job. Be wary of any seemingly unnecessary questions about your personal life or beliefs.
Do not wait to get in touch with a legal professional if you encounter a discriminatory job advertisement or believe you were not hired for discriminatory reasons. Our employment discrimination attorney can help you explore your legal options in these situations.
Employment Discrimination in the Workplace
If you are frequently having to deal with inappropriate jokes, comments, or adverse treatment because of your membership in a protected class, you may be experiencing a hostile work environment. In the eyes of the law, an unlawful hostile work environment occurs when discriminatory treatment makes it harder for you to do your job. You probably have a difficult time completing your job responsibilities if your manager and coworkers frequently and repeatedly make unwanted comments about your religion, for example.
Keep in mind that sexual harassment is considered discrimination on the basis of sex. Unwanted touching and quid pro quos can also create a hostile work environment.
Employers can be held liable for failing to resolve a hostile work environment. It does not matter if your manager or boss is not the cause of the abuse: Your employer still has a responsibility to foster a safe workplace free of discrimination.
Your employer cannot fire you, dismiss you, refuse to promote you, or take any adverse action against you on discriminatory grounds. They also cannot retaliate against you for complaining about or reporting discrimination. Examples of retaliation include wrongful termination, demotion, reductions in hours or pay, and unfavorable relocation.
Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
Employees have the right to request reasonable accommodations for their disability or religious beliefs. Note that pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications are considered disabilities. Reasonable accommodations should make it easier for you to complete your job responsibilities, and your employer is required to consider them.
Your employer can only reject a reasonable accommodation if it somehow constitutes an “undue hardship,” meaning it is too expensive or difficult to implement. Many accommodations are not undue hardships but are rejected anyway. An unjust failure to provide a reasonable accommodation is considered discriminatory.
In most employment situations, you cannot immediately sue your employer if you experience any form of employment discrimination. You will first need to file a claim with the EEOC or your state’s equivalent agency. A strong claim will include many types of evidence, including documentation of an employer’s actions, statements, behavior, and other patterns of discrimination.
In many situations, you will only have 180 days from the date of the most recent discriminatory act to file your claim, so you must act quickly. Whether your case is ultimately heard before an administrative board or a court of law, you may ultimately be able to obtain compensation and other benefits that were denied due to discriminatory treatment.
Our employment discrimination lawyer will fight to recover all available remedies, including:
- Back pay
- Compensation for emotional distress
- Reasonable accommodations refused on discriminatory grounds
- Promotions refused on discriminatory grounds
- Reinstatement (if wrongfully terminated)
- A job offer (if hiring was refused on discriminatory grounds)
- Legal fees