Discrimination and Harassment Claims and Counseling
State and federal laws prohibit employment discrimination on many bases, including race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, genetic information and pregnancy. Federal laws include Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and the Equal Pay Act (EPA). Some cities, such as Phoenix and Tucson, have also enacted local ordinances expanding worker’s protections to include bases such as sexual orientation, marital status and other categories.
In most cases, an employee alleging discrimination must file a complaint with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the Arizona Civil Rights Division (ACRD), of the Attorney General’s Office. Employees must generally file a complaint within 180 days of the alleged violation, although in some cases the deadline is up to 300 days. Either agency will investigate the charge and/or issue a letter of determination, finding that there is reasonable cause to believe that there was a violation by the employer or simply issue what is called a “Right to Sue Letter” to the charging party. A Right to Sue Letter provides 90 days within which to file a civil lawsuit. It is not necessarily a determination upon the merits of the claim. A successful employee may recover monetary damages or equitable remedies such as reinstatement, compensatory damages and other damages. Discriminatory actions can include the withholding of a raise, failure to promote, unfair working conditions, denial of FMLA leave or wrongful termination.
Harassment is the mistreatment, verbal or physical, of an individual based upon a protected category. Depending upon the severity and how pervasive the treatment, it may constitute a hostile work environment.
If you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment, or are an employer seeking guidance about a discrimination or harassment claim, Faulkner Law Offices has decades of experience handling these cases and welcomes the opportunity to evaluate your matter.