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WHAT IS EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAW?
Employment 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?

Discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, unequal pay, harassment, age, national origin, religion, pregnancy, genetic information & retaliation are illegal.


But certain requirements exist:
  1. The 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;

  2. If 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.

If 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. 

If 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.

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 may file a lawsuit in federal court within two years from the day you received the last discriminatory paycheck.

Hiring 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.

The 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.

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. 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 paycheck.

Disability 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 business.

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:
  • A 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).
  • A 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).

An 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.

After 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 the exam.

Once 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.

Thanks 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 various statutes.

 
















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