If you are a victim of employment discrimination or workplace harassment, you may be protected by additional state or federal discrimination laws. That is why it is always important to speak with an experienced employment discrimination lawyer who can help you identify the specific laws that apply in your case. Employers must comply with certain legal obligations to their employees. Employer misconduct may involve discriminating against or harassing certain workers who belong to protected classes or failing to pay employees according to minimum wage and overtime laws. In some cases, employers may unlawfully retaliate against employees who have complained about their mistreatment. The following are specific types of employment discrimination claims that we are ready to investigate on your behalf:
Federal law prohibits sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are two categories of sexual harassment: hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment. A hostile work environment exists if an employee suffers harm because he or she is frequently the recipient of unwelcome advances, offensive comments, or other harassment. Quid pro quo harassment exists when a supervisor or another powerful authority figure in the workplace asks for sexual favors in exchange for taking a certain employment action, such as promoting an employee, or promising not to take a particular action, such as firing the employee.
Retaliation and Wrongful Termination
Most anti-discrimination laws include provisions that prohibit retaliation for engaging in protected activities, such as assisting with a discrimination investigation, filing a charge with the EEOC, or suing your employer for harassment. Although most employment relationships are “at will,” employers cannot fire or terminate employees in order to retaliate against them. When an employee is fired for engaging in a protected activity or for some other reason that violates public policy, he or she may have grounds to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a federal law, employees throughout the U.S. are shielded from adverse treatment based on pregnancy, and they are entitled to be accommodated in the workplace similar to other temporarily disabled employees.
Sex or Gender Discrimination
The Equal Pay Act requires employers throughout the U.S. to provide equal pay to employees who are working in substantially equal jobs, regardless of their gender. This is broadly defined to include bonuses, stock options, and benefits, in addition to actual salary. An employee may not base promotions or pay raises on gender stereotypes or provide benefits only to female spouses of employees.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits racial discrimination in the workplace. Title VII covers all private employers, educational institutions, and state and local government organizations that employ 15 or more workers. Under Title VII, it is illegal for a covered employer to discriminate against an employee based on race when taking employment actions. It is against the law for an employer to fail to promote or to terminate based on race.
Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer may not discriminate against a qualified employee based on a history of disability or the employer’s belief that a qualified employee has a mental or physical impairment that is not short-lived and minor. Even employees and job applicants who are not actually disabled are protected against discrimination if the employer takes an adverse employment action because it believes there is a disability. Moreover, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees who request an accommodation due to the disability, unless providing that accommodation would be overly expensive or difficult.
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), employers may not discriminate against employees over 40 years old on the basis of their age. Businesses with 20 or more employees are covered by this federal law. It is against the law for an employer to fail to promote or to terminate based solely on advanced age.
National Origin Discrimination
Laws at the federal, state, and city levels prevent employers from treating workers differently based on their country of origin as well as certain related traits, such as ethnicity, ancestry, or foreign accent. . It is against the law for an employer to fail to promote or to terminate based solely on one’s national origin.
Religious beliefs are broadly defined under the law, extending from a membership in a particular religion to sincere ethical or personal beliefs. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for the religious practices of their employees, in addition to refraining from harassing them based on their religion. . It is against the law for an employer to fail to promote or to terminate based solely on one’s religion.
Wage and Hour and Overtime Claims
Minimum wage, overtime, and rest requirements are set by several laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, an employee can be classified as either exempt or nonexempt. Exempt workers are typically salaried employees. Nonexempt are employees who are paid hourly. This category of worker is entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, and meal and rest breaks.