Workplace Discrimination – Information You Need to Know
All claims of prohibited discrimination are enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This federal agency continues to expand and redefine the public’s understanding of discrimination, but generally the EEOC investigates claims of discrimination that involve:
- Unfair treatment based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or genetic information.
- Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in your workplace based on race, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or genetic information.
- Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation requested because of an employee’s religious belief or disability.
- Retaliation resulting from a complaint about job discrimination, or from assistance with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
Even if you are generally familiar with federal laws prohibiting discrimination, you may be surprised by what conduct can be considered discriminatory or prohibited. Essentially, any adverse employment decision that results from discrimination is prohibited; such employment policies and practices can include:
- Job advertisements
- Terms, conditions, privileges of employment
- Promotions (and failure to promote)
- Tests and other selection criteria
- Employee benefits
- Some dress codes
- Work Assignments
If you believe that you have been improperly discriminated against, generally you have 180 days (6 months) to file a charge with the EEOC. You are required to file this charge before filing a lawsuit against your employer.
Alternatively, if you are a business owner or employer, you will have 30 days to respond to an employee’s charge upon receiving notice from the EEOC.
In either scenario, navigating the EEOC charge process and any subsequent litigation can be confusing and challenging. Accordingly, it is important for you to consult a law firm like The Gibson Law Group, P.C. as soon as possible for help evaluating your position and options.