Have You Been Illegally Discriminated Against At Work?
Federal and state laws prohibit certain types of discrimination in the workplace. These laws are limited in scope, however, and successfully pursuing a claim is not always easy.
At Armstrong & Associates, our trial attorneys help workers in the Houston, Texas, area after they have been unlawfully discriminated against at work. We argue on their behalf in hearings, negotiations or courtrooms and have helped hold many employers accountable for their wrongdoing while providing compensation that helps our clients cope with the aftermath of illegal treatment in the workplace.
It is important to know your rights as an employee. On this page, we will answer several frequently asked questions about discrimination.
When Do You Have A Discrimination Claim?
Many, if not all, of us are on the receiving end of unfair treatment at work from time to time. However, not all workplace discrimination is illegal. When your boss gives a promotion to a better-qualified employee and not you, this is probably lawful. However, if your boss made the promotion decision based on nothing more than his or her bias against your gender, race, religion, national origin, age or certain other legally specified categories, the employer has committed unlawful discrimination.
Legally speaking, when the employer, the manager or the company as a whole takes action that is adverse to your employment, motivated by animosity or a negative view of any protected class, you have a legal claim. Speak to a lawyer with experience in employment law to learn whether your case rises to the level of unlawful discrimination.
To Whom Do You Report An Incident Of Discrimination?
As difficult as it sounds, you must first report discrimination to your employer, and you should do it soon after the incident. If your company has a human resources department, take your concerns there. This will notify your employer about the problem. It will also provide documentation that you may need later.
What Happens If Your Employer Retaliates Against You?
Many workers don’t report discrimination because they fear that their employers will retaliate against them if they complain. It’s important to know that your employer is breaking the law if it retaliates against you for exercising your legal right to report discrimination.
When Does The Lawsuit Begin?
Typically, a lawsuit occurs only after the employee has reported the discrimination and the employer has either retaliated or responded in some other way that is legally insufficient. This will typically begin by going through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, speaking to an attorney early in the process can be crucial to your chances of success.
How Do You Prove Your Case?
The biggest hurdle for workers in many discrimination cases is proving that the employer had no legitimate reason for taking the discriminatory action. Once you have made the allegation, the employer has the burden to explain why the action was not discriminatory. At that point, the burden is on you to show why the employer’s explanation is false. This requires gathering a great deal of evidence in the legal process known as discovery.
How Long Does The Process Take?
An actual trial typically takes five days to two weeks, but the whole process of a discrimination lawsuit typically takes up to two years. Some take longer than that. Many cases settle before they go to trial.
What Can Armstrong & Associates Do For You?
When we represent you, we see our role as advocates for you, your interests and the rule of law. We find solutions that fit you and your needs, rather than trying to fit your unique case into a pattern made for other clients’ cases. We give you honest advice, counsel you on the best ways to reach your goals and advocate strongly on your behalf in court or at the negotiating table.