How to Sue for Discrimination
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Has Your Employer Discriminated Against You?
State and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees based on immutable characteristics, which are characteristics that cannot be changed. The employer can be a private employer, non-profit organization or government entity.
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you based on an immutable characteristic, you are a victim of employment discrimination. You can sue your employer for this discrimination.
How Do You Prove Job Discrimination?
As the plaintiff, you will need to prove in court that:
- You are a member of a protected class and
- The employer treated you unfairly because of your membership in the protected class.
What Is a Protected Class?
Federal and state laws have recognized most of the following as protected classes for purposes of employment discrimination lawsuits:
- Race/skin color
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
Examples of Employment Discrimination
In order to be treated differently or unfairly, you do not have to be an employee of the company. You could be a job applicant. Employment discrimination can occur at all stages of the job application process. In addition, employment discrimination can occur both during and after employment. Common examples include:
- Refusing to interview or hire
- Refusing to promote or give pay raises
- Firing or forcing retirement
- Compensating at different levels
- Awarding different or reduced benefits
In addition, employment discrimination can occur when a workplace policy appears neutral on its face but in fact has a discriminatory impact on only one protected class. This is known as disparate impact discrimination.
Suing Your Employer
While it may seem daunting to sue your employer, it is not impossible. Follow these steps to pave the way for a successful lawsuit.
- Confront your employer about the discrimination. Report it to your supervisor or HR. Follow through with any formal complaint procedure. This may solve any issues that may have existed.
- If that does not work, begin gathering information and evidence. Find co-workers who are willing to testify for you.
- Research your potential legal claims. Read up on the various types of discrimination and the elements you will need to prove. The Legalmatch Law Library is a great starting place.
- File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and any similar state agency. These agencies will investigate your claims and may decide to pursue policy change and damages on your behalf.
- If you decide that filing a civil employment discrimination lawsuit is necessary, consult a lawyer.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue My Employer?
Employment discrimination cases are extremely difficult to prove. Employees are generally hired at-will and can be fired at any time for legal reasons. You will need to gather evidence that you were fired for an illegal reason due to your membership in a protected class. In addition, many employment discrimination cases require expert witness analysis and testimony. Disparate impact claims require statistical analysis of how facially neutral policies are affecting different groups of employees. Contact an employment lawyer today to review your case, discuss your potential claims, evaluate your course of action, and begin advocating for justice.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 05-04-2015 11:46 AM PDT
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