No one wants to face harassment or discrimination in the workplace. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, you may want to consult with an employment law attorney. Cases of discrimination are often extremely fact-specific. Here are a few questions you may want to consider:
1. Are You a Protected Class?
In order for you to be discriminated against, you need to be part of a protected class. A protected class can include gender, race, or sexual orientation. Certain things are not a protected class, such as political affiliation; political affiliation is protected for federal workers and in some states, but not all states. You need to know whether the discrimination you're facing is truly illegal in your area.
2. Is Your Earning Potential Impacted?
Discrimination can be actionable regardless of whether your earning potential is impacted. However, if you want to be made whole, you need to be able to show the tangible effects of discrimination. This can include being passed up for promotions, not getting raises, or being paid less than those who are not inside of your protected class. If you cannot show real damages, you may be able to prove discrimination but you may not get much out of it financially.
3. Do You Have Evidence of Discrimination?
To show discrimination you often have to show some sort of pattern, such as male employees being promoted but female employees not being promoted, or female employees making more money than male employees. Other than this, you may need to have witnessed discrimination or have physical evidence of discrimination, such as a memo outlining it.
An employee may feel as though she was fired for being pregnant, but unless she can show that she was fired immediately after revealing her pregnancy, it may be difficult to prove. In nearly every state an employer can fire anyone for any reason except discriminatory ones; an employer can always claim they fired the employee for a different reason.
4. Could You Perform the Duties of the Job?
Employers are allowed to discriminate in one way: they can usually let employees go if they cannot reasonably perform their job. As an example, a business may only seem to hire 18 to 48 year old employees, and that may appear to be age discrimination. Looking further, though, the business might be a moving company, and it may simply be that no one over that age (who has applied) can keep up with the physical demands.
A company could technically fire every female employee they had if the female employees they had happened to be unable to fulfill the work that needed to be done, though naturally it would look suspicious and merit further inquiry. (And, if the employer was manufacturing requirements, such as requiring wait staff to be able to lift 80 pounds for no reason, that would still be discrimination.)
Just because the answer to one of these questions wasn't the "correct" one doesn't mean that you aren't being discriminated against -- it may simply be harder to prove your case. An employment discrimination attorney can go over your case to give you more details. You can contact legal experts like those at the Law Offices of Mark A Osman for more information.Share
20 June 2018
When my husband filed for divorce a few years ago, I knew that I didn't want to endure a legal battle on my own. I interviewed several different attorneys until I found one that I really liked, and then I really gave my case my all. I had long talks with my lawyer about everything from financial problems to the way that we organized our schedule, and she was able to create a rock-solid case from my statements. This website is all about the importance of communicating effectively with your attorney by making the right decisions. Check out these posts about lawyers so that you are better prepared for your next case.