August 21, 2019

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Employment Discrimination Law

An employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • National original
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Military service
  • Age (over 40 years old)

Because these claims must be brought within a short window of opportunity, an Employment Discrimination Attorney is recommended. View qualified Employment Discrimination Law Firms in your area to find Employment Discrimination Lawyers.

Protected Situations

No discrimination may occur in any of the following employment-related areas:

  • Hiring
  • Recruitment
  • Promotion
  • Training
  • Evaluations
  • Discipline
  • Compensation

Claims Process

If you are discriminated against in the workplace, you must follow a strict process to file your claim:

  • File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the equivalent state agency
  • Request a right-to-sue
  • File a civil suit within 90 days of obtaining the letter

Types of Civil Suits

Depending on your unique circumstances, you will sue under one or more of the following laws:

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) covers all protected classes (listed above) for discrimination by employers with 15 or more employees
  • Equal Pay Act applies where people with the same job are paid differently due to some discriminatory practice
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects disabled workers’ right to work with employers with 15 or more workers
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against a person based upon their age (if over 40 years)

Disability Discrimination (Disability)

To qualify under the ADA, you must be disabled, defined as having an impairment that inhibits a major life activity. Employers specifically cannot discriminate against you in the following ways:

  • Having barriers to your movement within the workplace
  • Requesting medical information or an exam when you apply
  • Segregating or otherwise singling-out disabled workers
  • Not providing equal insurance benefits

The ADA also requires that employers provide their disabled workers with reasonable accommodations so they can succeed at their job, as long as the assistance does not create an undue hardship for the employer. Examples include:

  • Adjusting work schedules
  • Placing equipment so it may be easily reached
  • Providing visual and hearing assistance

Sexual Harassment (Sexual Harassment)

Sexual harassment is a type of employment discrimination, although not all employment discrimination based on sex is harassment (for example, unequal pay for equal work). There are two main types of sexual harassment:

  • Quid pro quo – where sexual favors are demanded in exchange for promotion, preference or just to keep your job.
  • Hostile work environment – where frequent, offensive and perhaps even threatening acts and words of a sexual nature, including vulgarities, sex-based harassment, dirty jokes and even offensive physical contact pervade the workplace.


Typical damages received in employment discrimination lawsuits include:

  • Money for your actual damages as well as punitive damages
  • Reinstatement to your job, or promotion if warranted
  • Legal fees

Related areas:

Disability, Civil Rights Law, Sexual Harassment, Litigation, Employment Law Firms, Employee Lawsuits, Employer Lawsuits, Race Discrimination Attorney