Workplace Discrimination Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been treated unfairly at work because of discrimination? Contact an experienced employment discrimination lawyer at Heidari Law Group for a free case evaluation today.
Workplace discrimination unequal or unfair treatment of an employee based on their personal characteristics or perceived membership in a protected class. Under both federal and state law, employees are protected against being fired, demoted, refused for employment, or otherwise treated unfairly on the grounds of discrimination. All forms of employment discrimination are punishable by law and may result in various citations, corporate fines, and possibly more severe penalties.
Which Employer Actions Can Qualify as Discrimination?
For an employee to be able to claim they were discriminated against in their workplace, they must be able to show that the employer took negative action against them based on discriminatory reasons. This list of negative actions against the discriminated employee includes:
- Being demoted, having pay reduced, or job benefits lessened
- Being assigned to an unfavorable job assignment
- Being denied a promotion, career advancement, or pay increase
- Not being hired
- Being terminated or forced to quit
- Other discriminatory decisions that affect an employee’s conditions of employment
Differences Between Discrimination and Harassment
Workplace harassment and discrimination are similar in many ways, but the key difference is that discrimination is targeted at someone who is a member of a protected class whereas harassment can happen to any employee regardless of membership in a protected class. For example, an example of harassment would be when an employee is hostile and makes derogatory statements to all employees at the company, whereas discrimination would be if the employee was only making those derogatory statements to members of a specific protected class.
Types of Workplace Discrimination
Victims of workplace discrimination may suffer unjust denials or promotion, wage inequity, wrongful termination, and severe emotional stress. The unequal treatment of protected class members by employers comes in many forms, but regardless of which protected class you may be a part of, you have the right to sue for discrimination if your class is being treated unfairly when compared to how other classes are treated at your place of work.
These are the various types of classes which workplace discrimination laws protect:
- Disabilities. Discrimination against disabled employees is not uncommon. Whether the disability is physical or psychological, when an employer treats a disabled employee worse or unfairly compared to non-disabled ones, this is a strong sign that workplace discrimination may be occurring and it would be a good idea to seek legal counsel on the matter.
- National Origin. This type of discrimination occurs when an employee is unfairly treated because of their place of origin or the fact that they’re from a different country. Immigrants are a common victim of national original discrimination.
- Religion. There are many different religions that people follow from around the globe. When employers treat their religious employees or followers of a certain religion differently than others, this could be considered to be workplace discrimination and the victims have the right to try to recover compensation for the unequal treatment they’ve received.
- Gender or Sexual Orientation. If an employee is treated unfairly or discriminated against because of their perceived gender or sexual orientation, this is a violation of their rights under employment discrimination law.
- Marital Status. An employer cannot treat an employee unfairly simply because they are or are not married.
- Genetic Information. American employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee because of their genetics including disabilities or other genetic defects under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).
- Age. Employees across the United States are protected from being illegally discriminated against based on their age. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), all employees over the age of 40 are offered this type of protection.
- Unfair Denial of Family or Medical Leave. When an employee is discriminated against because of their need to take family or medical leave, this is considered workplace discrimination.
- Race. It’s unlawful for an employer to treat an employee unfairly because of their perceived skin color, ancestry, or race. These protections also extend to include being married to someone of a certain race or nationality.
- Sex. Unfair treatment of employees based on their sex is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- Pregnancy. Workplace discrimination laws protect pregnant employees from unfair treatment in hiring, firing, promotions, and job assignments under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).
Employment Discrimination Stats
According to statistics from the EEOC regarding the number and types of workplace discrimination complaints filed, nearly 1 in 3 American employees has faced some type of discrimination in the duration of their career.
Percentage of charges filed by type of discrimination in 2019:
- Retaliation (All Statutes) – 53.8%
- Retaliation (Title VII) – 41.4%
- Disability – 33.4%
- Race – 33%
- Sex – 32.4%
- Age – 21.4%
- National Origin – 9.6%
- Color – 4.7%
- Religion – 3.7%
- Equal Pay Act – 1.5%
- GINA – 0.3%
Since many cases involve multiple types of discrimination, the total will add up to over 100%.
Proving Workplace Discrimination in Court
To have a valid workplace motivation case, the negative action that the employer took does not need to be purely motivated by discriminatory reasons but could still be considered wrongful if discrimination was even partially to blame. Since most employers won’t directly admit that they participated in discriminatory practices, evidence for an employment discrimination case is mostly indirect.
Indirect evidence could include many different things that expose the potential that discrimination played a role in the negative action being taken. Typically, the best indirect evidence is that which directly contradicts the employer’s reasoning for the negative action being taken, opening the road for the possibility that it was caused by discrimination. Another type of approach based on indirect evidence is when the employee’s legal team is able to paint the picture that there is a consistent pattern of discriminatory treatment that others may have experienced as well based on their perceived membership in a protected class.
On the other hand, direct evidence usually consists of statements or recordings of discriminatory statements made by the employer. This type of evidence is often much harder to come by, so most cases are won on indirect evidence instead.
Planning to File a Discrimination Complaint?
If you’re planning to file a complaint with the EEOC against your employer on the basis of discrimination, one of the most important things you can do is read & understand the employee handbook and keep a copy for your case. It’s also important to keep a copy of any documentation related to actions that your employer took against you, any paperwork stating why those actions were taken, and to keep a copy of your employee contract.
Contact a Workplace Discrimination Attorney Today
The EEOC complaint process can be somewhat complicated, but with the help of an experienced workplace discrimination attorney, you have a better chance of securing a better outcome. Our firm has extensive experience in fighting corporations of all sizes to get compensation for employees who were the victims of discrimination. We understand the complexities of how these cases are won and can provide you with solid legal counsel throughout the process. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, we’ve fought employment cases all over the west coast.
If you think you’ve faced discrimination at your job, then give us a call at 1-833-225-5454 for a free case evaluation from a reputable attorney. Contact us at Heidari Law Group today to schedule a consultation or get more information.