Employment attorneys represent a worker who has been discriminated against in being treated differently (typically worse) than others in the workforce due to his/her race, gender (sex), national origin, religion, age, or disability. Employment discrimination can take the form of an adverse action that affects an employee economically like, failure to promote, demotion, suspension, termination, or loss of benefits. Employment discrimination can also take the form of a hostile work environment (workplace harassment), like verbal or physical harassment, or it can occur when an employer fails to reasonably accommodate a qualified employee with a disability. Being a member of a protected class is not enough for a discrimination lawsuit (e.g., minority, female, disabled, over 40 years of age, etc.). There are many other factors involved, including statistics within the company and other factors.
Few employers admit that they discriminate against applicants or employees. Experience shows, however, that employers still leave plenty of fingerprints. This includes:
Direct, or “smoking gun” evidence, such as:
- disparaging remarks
- admissions of bias (“women don’t belong around heavy construction equipment”)
Indirect evidence, such as:
- statistics (an all white, male executive team or a higher than expected proportion of older workers laid off)
- Other cases of discrimination
- Pretext (bogus reasons given for employment decisions to cover up the unlawful reason)
- Better treatment of people outside of the protected class who have equal or lesser qualifications.
Many cases are eligible for investigation by either the Indiana Civil Rights Commission or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There are time frames for filing such charges that need to be strictly adhered to.
You should hire an attorney if you feel you have been discriminated against. Unfortunately, there are plenty of situation that are abusive and harassing, but not illegal. Unless it’s based on age, gender, race, religion, ethnic origin, disability or sexual orientation, the harassment can continue with little or no recourse available to the victim. However, if you feel you are being discriminated against where it relates to the workplace due to your age, gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation, you should speak with our firm as we can help you determine if the discrimination you are suffering is illegal and help you assert your legal rights under the law.