Bruce L. Atkins
May 26, 2015
Hackensack ,NJ 07601
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Have you ever been sued for discrimination? Employers need to make sure to not commit illegal discrimination against their employees. Knowing the basics of discrimination, and the laws against it, will help prevent lawsuits in the future.
Employers commit discrimination when they make a decision based on a protected category instead of individual merit. This applies throughout the entire employment relationship. Examples when employers can’t discriminate include:
Not all discrimination is illegal. The category must be protected under the law to be illegal. Examples of protected categories include:
There are many federal laws against discrimination. Some examples of federal laws include:
State laws usually protect the same categories as federal laws. They sometimes go beyond federal laws and protect other categories, such as marital status or sexual orientation.
Employees have a number of options if they believe their employers are committing discrimination. In most cases, they can file a discrimination claim with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This can be in person, by mail or by telephone.
Almost all discrimination laws have time limits for when an employee can file a claim. The most common time limit is 180 days from the date of the discrimination. Some states allow claims up to 300 days. An employee might not be able to obtain a remedy if he misses the time limit.
The EEOC will investigate unlawful discrimination and file a lawsuit if necessary. It’ll usually give the employer an opportunity to correct any discrimination before a lawsuit is filed. This may involve informal mediation between the employee and the employer.
An employee can file a lawsuit on his own for discrimination. He usually has to wait until the EEOC sends him a “right to sue” notice. The employee will have 90 days to bring the lawsuit after receiving the notice.
There are many ways to prove discrimination in court. Statements, e-mails and company memos can be used to show unlawful discrimination. Indirect evidence can also be used. This may include proof that people outside the protected categories were receiving better treatment.
Various remedies are available to employees who have suffered from discrimination. Examples include: