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Workplace Discrimination Lawsuits - Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Matters

29th March 2010
By Penelope Stone in Business Law
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What types of discrimination are workers in America protected from? Congress has enacted a series of laws which make it illegal to discriminate in the workplace because of gender, age, race, nationality or disability. The laws cover all aspects of employment; hiring and firing, compensation, promotions, layoffs, recruitment, retirement as well as medical and disability leave. Discriminatory practices that are banned include harassment because of a person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or age.

How are Discrimination Claims handled? The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in charge of enforcing all discrimination laws. If you feel you have been a victim of discrimination in the workplace it is your responsibility to file a complaint with the EEOC. They require that the complaint be filed in a timely manner and ask that you be as specific as possible in detailing the incident.

Do I need an attorney to act on my behalf? You are not required to have legal counsel to make a claim but it is advisable to consult an attorney. You can be sure that your employer will be represented by legal counsel and that could give them an unfair advantage. An attorney skilled in discrimination law who has dealt with the EEOC in the past can be a valuable resource in achieving a successful resolution.

What will happen after I file a claim? The EEOC will assign an investigator to your case who will determine if he believes your claim has merit. Before any decision is handed down, the investigator is likely to recommend mediation to try and resolve the issue without going to court. If mediation fails and the investigator finds in your favor, you will be given a right to sue letter and the case will proceed to court.

Are discrimination lawsuits difficult to win? Your case would not have progressed to this point if it did not have merit, so you can have a reasonable expectation to be victorious.

Winning a claim will depend on the supporting evidence that you can provide. Did other workers witness the discrimination? Do you have past favorable job reviews to dispute a dismissal? Have other workers been treated differently when the same thing happened?

Your legal counsel can help you gather the evidence needed to prevail.

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