Discrimination in the workplace is not uncommon. It can be committed by your supervisor, co-workers, or even another company that you are interviewing for. When employers ask inappropriate questions that violate your legal rights or commit wrongful actions such as firing you without a legitimate reason, you may be entitled to take action against them.
No matter who you are, what you look like, or what you believe, you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. Do not ignore this type of problematic behavior if you suspect that you have a legal claim. If you believe you or a coworker is being discriminated against in your place of work, a Chicago employment discrimination lawyer at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers is ready to fight for you and hold your employer accountable.
Table of Contents:
- What is Employment Discrimination?
- Laws That Protect Against Workplace Discrimination
- How to Prove Employment Discrimination Claims
- When to Hire a Lawyer for Employment Discrimination Claims
- Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Employment Discrimination
What is employment discrimination?
Employment discrimination does not always look like one thing. Any time you are being treated differently than others around you due to your protected class, you may be experiencing discrimination in your workplace. Protected classes under state and federal laws include but are not limited to:
- sex (also gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy)
- national origin
- age (40 or older)
Federal and state laws specify other protections as well including military status (i.e. discharged for reasons other than dishonorable) or language (if unrelated to job duties). Discrimination can be overt or appear as microaggressions. Consider if you have experienced the following scenarios:
- Not considering you for a promotion based on your race.
- Paying you a lower wage than someone of the opposite gender.
- Questions about whether you are planning to have children or raise a family.
- Not providing you reasonable accommodation if you have a disability.
- Failure to provide training because of your age.
- Refusing you a promotion you are more than qualified for due to national origin.
If you are not sure if your case qualifies as employment discrimination, an employment discrimination lawyer can help shed light on your situation.
Laws That Protect Against Workplace Discrimination
Thankfully, several laws and statutes are in place both federally and locally that protect against workplace discrimination. There’s the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and sex. Also, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability. These statutes as well as several others protect workers from workplace discrimination and are enforced by agencies on state and federal levels.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that prohibit job discrimination against an employee or applicant. The EEOC is where you must report workplace discrimination before you can file a lawsuit against your employer. The EEOC will investigate your charge, assess the allegations, and make a finding.
Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)
Each state has its anti-discrimination laws that every employer residing in the state must follow. In Chicago, the Illinois Human Rights Act is the statute in place protecting employees of a protected class from workplace discrimination. The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)is the state agency that enforces these laws. As a Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA), the IDHR partners with the EEOC, meaning that if you file your workplace discrimination charge with them, they can “dual-file” your case with the EEOC. The laws and procedures surrounding this process can be confusing, so having a Chicago employment discrimination lawyer file your charge will ensure everything is filed correctly.
How to Prove Employment Discrimination
While you may know that what you’ve experienced is wrong, it can be difficult to prove discrimination in the workplace. It will be important to have as much evidence and documentation of the discrimination to help build your case. This may include direct evidence such as emails from your boss explicitly expressing disdain for a protected class. Or, it may be indirect or circumstantial evidence, such as hinting or suggesting disdain for a protected class. More often than not, it will be much more difficult to find direct evidence of discrimination. It may also be helpful to have witnesses who can back up your discrimination claims from what they’ve witnessed or have experienced themselves. For example, if you’ve noticed workplace discrimination based on your sexual orientation, you may be able to find other employees of the same protected class who have experienced the same type of discrimination. Showing a pattern and practice of discrimination can go a long way. An employment lawyer would know what information you should collect and how it could help your case. Employment law is complicated and challenging. We don’t want you to go it alone. Our employment discrimination lawyers have several years of experience, and it is our mission to use this experience to fight for workers’ rights
When to Hire a Lawyer for Employment Discrimination Claims
The best time to find legal assistance to help you file your workplace discrimination is from the very beginning. Attempting to file or collect evidence on your own can waste time and lead to mistakes. This time can be incredibly stressful and having the support of an attorney can take a significant amount of stress off your shoulders. Additionally, this process has a stringent timeline for when you must file a charge. Once you receive the Notice of Right to Sue, you only have 90 days to file your lawsuit against your employer should you decide to take this route. Employment discrimination lawyers often want more time than this to understand your situation, collect evidence, and file all the required paperwork to begin building your case. Hiring legal counsel from the beginning will give you your best chance at winning your lawsuit should it come to this.
Contact a Chicago Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today
Do not hesitate to contact a Chicago employment discrimination lawyer today if you believe you are facing workplace discrimination. Not only will your lawyer be able to help determine if what you are experiencing is, in fact, discrimination, but he or she will also help you begin recording incidents that you will need to offer as proof if your case goes to court. The more documented proof you have, the easier it will be to have concrete evidence to offer in court. Even if you do not have this, however, your lawyer may have suggestions on how to go about your case. Reach out to us today to get started.
Employment Discrimination Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Discrimination claims can be a lengthy and confusing process. While employment law is designed to protect workers, you may have several questions before hiring a discrimination lawyer.
What compensation is available for discrimination in the workplace?
If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as emotional damage and wage recovery if you missed work due to the discrimination.
Should I be worried about employer retaliation for my discrimination lawsuit?
Retaliation in the workplace for speaking to an attorney or filing a discrimination claim is illegal. You should not let the fear of workplace retaliation keep you from filing an employment discrimination case. They are not allowed to penalize you or make your job or working conditions more difficult. Your employment discrimination lawyer will be there with you every step of the way to make sure this does not happen to you while your case is going on. Even if you feel like something seems strange after your case is closed, you can revisit it with your attorney to make sure you feel safe and comfortable at your place of work.
Is it even worth it to file my discrimination case?
Dealing with discrimination in the workplace can be incredibly stressful and disheartening. It’s understandable to want to move on and put it all behind you. However, it’s worth considering that, in addition to protecting your rights, taking legal recourse and filing an employment discrimination claim can prevent others from experiencing the same abuse. Company policies and overall culture can change because you chose to speak out against employment discrimination. Any type of workplace harassment is unacceptable and employers should be held accountable for their actions. While filing a case can be hard to do, especially if the incident happened recently, the possibility of a positive case result is worth the time and energy. You may be able to help others avoid going through the same experience. It can be difficult revisiting this hard time in your life, but more often than not it is entirely worth it.
How long do you have to file a discrimination claim?
Fortunately, the state of Illinois has a similar anti-discrimination law to the federal law enforced by the EEOC. This means that in Chicago, IL, the amount of time you have to file a charge of discrimination is extended from the usual 180 calendar days to 300 calendar days.
Larry Disparti Wins Employment Discrimination Cases
Larry Disparti and the attorneys at the Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers have quickly become Chicago’s leader in employment law. If you feel you’ve faced workplace discrimination you may be able to take legal action against your employer. To gain an understanding of your rights and what recourse you can take, contact the Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers today at 312-600-6000. When it comes to employment law, find out why thousands of our clients say, Larry Wins! Chicago employment discrimination lawyer | Disparti Law Group | (312) 600-6000
5 COMMON EXAMPLES OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
Dealing with discrimination can be stressful, requiring help from a Chicago, IL employment discrimination lawyer. Despite significant progress in recent decades, employment discrimination continues to persist in various forms. Discrimination can affect individuals based on their race, gender, age, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics. Our Disparti Law Group will detail five common examples of employment discrimination that you should be aware of.
1. RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Racial discrimination continues to be a major issue in many workplaces. It occurs when individuals are treated unfairly due to their race, skin color, or ethnic background. Examples of racial discrimination can include discriminatory hiring practices, unfair promotion decisions, pay disparities between employees of different races, or creating a hostile work environment through racial slurs, jokes, or offensive comments. It is crucial for employers to create a diverse and inclusive environment where individuals are judged solely on their merits, skills, and qualifications.
2. GENDER DISCRIMINATION
Gender discrimination is another issue that affects both men and women, which a Chicago employment discrimination lawyer can help resolve. It involves treating individuals unfairly based on their gender or gender identity, which can manifest in various ways. Examples of gender discrimination include pay disparities between male and female employees performing the same job, denial of promotions based on gender, sexual harassment, or the perpetuation of gender stereotypes that limit opportunities for career growth. Eliminating gender discrimination requires proactive measures, such as implementing equal pay policies and fostering an inclusive culture that values diversity.
3. AGE DISCRIMINATION
Age discrimination occurs when individuals are treated unfairly due to their age, particularly in relation to employment decisions. While this discrimination often affects older employees, younger employees can also be affected as well. Examples of age discrimination include employers favoring younger candidates during the hiring process, setting age limits for job applicants, or subjecting older employees to negative stereotypes or derogatory comments. Creating a work environment that appreciates the diverse skills and experiences of employees of all ages is essential for combating age discrimination.
4. DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
Discriminating against individuals with disabilities is against their legal rights. Disability discrimination can take various forms, including denying employment opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities, failing to provide reasonable accommodations, or subjecting them to harassment or a hostile work environment. Employers must ensure equal treatment and reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, allowing them to perform their job duties to the best of their abilities.
5. RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION
In the United States, individuals have the right to exercise their religious beliefs without persecution. Examples of religious discrimination in the workplace can include refusing to hire or promote individuals based on their religion, imposing religious requirements that are not relevant to the job, or creating a hostile work environment through derogatory comments or exclusionary practices. Employers should respect employees’ religious beliefs, accommodate religious practices when possible, and foster an environment that promotes religious diversity and inclusivity.
Chicago Employment Discrimination Infographic
LET OUR ATTORNEYS PROVIDE YOU WITH LEGAL HELP
Understanding the various forms of employment discrimination is crucial for building fair and inclusive workplaces. Racial, gender, age, disability, and religious discrimination are just a few examples of the pervasive biases that can hinder individual growth and perpetuate inequality. If you or a loved one is dealing with discrimination in the workplace, let a Chicago employment discrimination lawyer from our Disparti Law Group help you today!