WHAT IS EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAW?
discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, unequal pay,
harassment, age, national origin, religion, pregnancy, genetic
information & retaliation is illegal.
WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS UNDER THE VARIOUS ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS?
based on race, color, sex, disability, unequal pay, harassment, age,
national origin, religion, pregnancy, genetic information &
retaliation are illegal.
But certain requirements exist:
anti-discrimination laws give you a limited amount of time to file a
charge of discrimination. In general, you need to file a charge within
180 calendar days from the day the discrimination took place. The 180
calendar day filing deadline is extended to 300 calendar days if a state
or local agency enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination
on the same basis. The rules are slightly different for age
discrimination charges. For age discrimination, the filing deadline is
only extended to 300 days if there is a state law prohibiting age
discrimination in employment and a state agency or authority enforcing
that law. The deadline is not extended if only a local law prohibits age
discrimination. It is best to file as soon as you have decided that is
what you would like to do. Time limits for filing a charge with EEOC
generally will not be extended while you attempt to resolve a dispute
through another forum such as an internal grievance procedure, a union
grievance, arbitration or mediation before filing a charge with EEOC.
Other forums for resolution may be pursued at the same time as the
processing of the EEOC charge;
you have a complaint involving race, color, religion, sex (including
pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic
information, the business is covered only if it has 15 or more employees
who worked for the employer for at least twenty calendar weeks (in this
year or last). If your complaint involves age discrimination, the
business is covered only if it has 20 or more employees who worked for
the company for at least twenty calendar weeks (in this year or last).
Virtually all employers are covered by the Equal Pay Act (EPA), which
makes it illegal to pay different wages to men and women if they perform
substantially equal work in the same workplace.
you filed your charge under Title VII (discrimination based on race,
color, religion, sex and national origin), or under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA & ADAA) based on disability, you must have a
Notice of Right To Sue from EEOC before you can file a lawsuit in
federal court. Generally, you must allow EEOC 180 days to resolve your
charge. Although, in some cases, EEOC may agree to issue a Notice of
Right To Sue before the 180 days. You may request a Notice of Right To
Sue by contacting the EEOC office handling your charge. You should
submit the request in writing.
you filed your charge under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
(discrimination based on age 40 and above), you do not need a Notice of
Right to Sue from EEOC. You may file a lawsuit in federal court 60 days
after your charge was filed with EEOC.
you filed your charge under the Equal Pay Act (wage discrimination
based on sex), you do not need a Notice of Right To Sue from EEOC. You
may file a lawsuit in federal court within two years from the day you
received the last discriminatory paycheck.
an attorney to pursue any of these claims is recommended, as detailed
EEOC procedures must be followed and failure to bring a claim
properly may cause it to be dismissed. If not dismissed, your claim
will be mediated or investigated, in either event, an attorney will
assist you in clearly and properly stating the elements (showing that
the employers actions met the severe or pervasive standard, follow the
McDonnell-Douglas Burden-Shifting standard, meet the requirements of
similarly situated comparators...) of your claim for the mediator’s or,
alternatively, for the EEOC Investigator’s benefit.
Investigator will interview you, an attorney will prepare you so you
know what to expect, how to focus your answers on the most legally
important facts. Whether mediation or investigation, this is
an adversarial process, and the employer will have someone who
specializes in fighting EEO claims presenting their side and trying to
make your complaint look as weak as possible. They will try to convince
the Mediator or Investigator that either nothing really happened, or
they were right to do what they did, or even that it was your own fault,
and/or any other excuse. You will need an attorney that will work with
you to rebut this and show the Mediator or Investigator that
the Employer is wrong, If the former to obtain a good settlement, if the
latter, so that the EEOC will issue a finding of discrimination. Or
you may request a Notice of Right To Sue by contacting the EEOC office
handling your charge in writing.
Title VII (discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and
national origin), or under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA
& ADAA) based on disability, you must have a Notice of Right To Sue
from EEOC before you can file a lawsuit in federal court. Generally, you
must allow EEOC 180 days to resolve your charge. If you filed your
charge under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA,
discrimination based on age 40 and above), you do not need a Notice of
Right to Sue from EEOC. You may file a lawsuit in federal court 60 days
after your charge was filed with EEOC. If you filed your charge under
the Equal Pay Act (wage discrimination based on sex), you do not need a
Notice of Right To Sue from EEOC. You must file a lawsuit in federal
court within two years from the day you received the last discriminatory
discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the
Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, or the Rehabilitation Act,
as amended, treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an
employee or applicant, unfavorably because he has a disability. The law
requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee
or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause
significant difficulty or expense for the employer ("undue hardship").
An employer doesn't have to provide an accommodation if doing so would
cause undue hardship to the employer. Undue hardship means that the
accommodation would be too difficult or too expensive to provide, in
light of the employer's size, financial resources, and the needs of the
law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment,
including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff,
training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of
employment. Harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about
a person's disability. Although the law doesn't prohibit simple
teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren't very
serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it
creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an
adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted)
and when combined with adverse acts, can show intent.
A person can show that he or she has a disability in one of three ways:
person may be disabled if he or she has a physical or mental condition
that substantially limits a major life activity (such as breathing,
walking, talking, seeing, hearing, or learning, etc.).
- A person may be disabled if he or she has a history of a disability (such as cancer that is in remission).
person may be disabled if he is believed to have a physical or mental
impairment that is not transitory (lasting or expected to last six
months or less) and minor (even if he does not have such an impairment).
employer may not ask a job applicant to answer medical questions or
take a medical exam before extending a job offer. An employer also may
not ask job applicants if they have a disability (or about the nature of
an obvious disability). An employer may ask job applicants whether they
can perform the job and how they would perform the job, with or without
a reasonable accommodation.
a job is offered to an applicant, the law allows an employer to
condition the job offer on the applicant answering certain medical
questions or successfully passing a medical exam, but only if all new
employees in the same type of job have to answer the questions or take
a person is hired and has started work, an employer generally can only
ask medical questions or require a medical exam if the employer needs
medical documentation to support an employee's request for an
accommodation or if the employer believes that an employee is not able
to perform a job successfully or safely because of a medical condition.
The law also requires that employers keep all medical records and
information confidential and in separate medical files.
to the recent amendments made to the ADA, otherwise known as the ADAA,
disabled employee’s rights have substantially grown and these claims
sometimes overlap with workman’s compensation claims where the
disability was caused or aggravated by the employment. Also while the
ADA & ADAA don’t require an employer to accommodate an employee who
must care for a disabled family member, the Family and Medical Leave Act
(FMLA) may well require that an employer do so. An employment attorney
can assist you in finding a remedy for your situation under these