When to Hire an Employment Discrimination Attorney An employment discrimination attorney can help if someone believes they have been treated differently on the job because of certain characteristics, including their race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, or disability. If your employer doesn’t like you and fires you, it isn’t necessarily actionable discrimination. To prove employment discrimination, the employee must show that their employer intended to treat them differently because of one of the characteristics. This intent can also be demonstrated if the employer has unfairly treated a lot of other workers with the same protected characteristic.
Most states and the federal government have laws that prohibit private persons, organizations or governments from discriminating against people because of these protected characteristics. In employment, individuals are protected from discrimination by employers under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities in Employment Act, and other federal and state laws.
Employment discrimination can take the form of an adverse action that affects an employee economically, such as failure to promote, demotion, suspension, termination, or loss of benefits. Employment discrimination can also take the form of workplace harassment, such as verbal or physical abuse, or it can occur when an employer fails to reasonably accommodate a qualified employee with a disability.
An employment discrimination attorney should be consulted by a worker if they feel they have been discriminated against. Unfortunately, there are plenty of situations 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 no recourse available to the victim.
If an employee cannot afford to retain an attorney, they can seek one on a contingency fee basis, which does not require the employee to pay an attorney until they are successful in pursuing their claim in court. Lawyers will generally take on the cases that, based on prior experience, have a strong chance at being successful in outcome.
Employment discrimination and wrongful termination claims can be difficult because the employee has to prove that the reason he was fired, not hired, not promoted, or otherwise harassed is because of their “protected classification”. In this sense, the employee has to prove why the company did it.
In the case of religious discrimination, and disability discrimination, it may also be illegal for an employer to deny reasonable accommodations to an employee. For example, an employer cannot require a person to violate his or her religious beliefs such as working on the Sabbath, eating a forbidden food, or using alcohol if doing so is against the person’s religious principles. Instead, the employer must make an accommodation enabling the employee to do his job without violating his religion. Similarly, an employer must accommodate the disabilities of their employees if those disabilities meet certain standards. If a company terminates an employee without considering an accommodation, this too can be wrongful termination.
To decide whether or not to hire an employment discrimination lawyer, the employee must consider why they were discriminated against. Why were they fired or not hired? Was it because of their age or race or gender? Or was it because the boss just did not like them, or wanted to hire his brother? What matters more than anything is the motive.