DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT & RETALIATION CLAIMS
Employment discrimination occurs when an employer adversely affects an employee’s hiring, promotion, compensation, job assignments, layoff, training opportunities, employment status or other terms and conditions of employment based on that employee’s sex, age, race, religion, national origin, disability, pregnancy or sexual orientation. These categories are known as the “protected classifications.” Employment policies and practices that are applicable to all employees may be unlawful if they have a negative impact on the employment of people who are members of a particular protected class, where those policies and practices are not job-related and necessary to the operation of the employer’s business.
Employers may also be liable for damages when they allow coworkers, supervisors, and, in some cases, their clients or customers to harass employees on the basis of their membership in one or more of these protected classifications. Although this kind of harassment can take many different forms, the more common forms typically consistent of derogatory or offensive remarks about a person’s membership in a protected classification, and/or displays of symbols or gestures known to be offensive to an employee-member of a protected classification. Generally, while the law does not prohibit offhand comments or isolated incidents that are not serious in nature, harassment can become illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
Further, federal and state laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who have filed legitimate discrimination or harassment claims against their employers. Retaliation may also occur when an employee is not the victim of the unlawful behavior, but is trying to help another by reporting it.
We handle all aspects of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation litigation. Our lawyers have experience under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and similar state laws. We can help clients deal with the government agencies that investigate complaints and charges of discrimination. Or, we can assist clients after they have pursued their complaint or charge through the appropriate government agency. In addition, we are experienced at handling arbitrations in cases where employers have imposed a lawful arbitration agreement requiring that employees submit their discrimination, harassment or retaliation claim to arbitration, instead of the courts.