How to Sue Your Employer for Discrimination
Discrimination has no place in the workplace. Employees and job applicants should not be subjected to discrimination in any form. Fortunately, state and federal laws are in place to protect these individuals from unlawful discrimination and provide them options for recourse. It is illegal to discriminate against an employee or job applicant for any of the following reasons:
- Sex (including pregnancy)
- National origin
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic information
If you have experienced unlawful discrimination, you should (1) look into the laws that apply to your situation, (2) contact an employment attorney, and (3) complete all the steps necessary to bring a discrimination lawsuit to court.
Laws Protecting You from Discrimination
Federal anti-discrimination laws include the following:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”)
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 (“EPA”)
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”)
- Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”)
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is the federal agency that enforces these laws.
In Pennsylvania, discrimination cases are handled by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”). This state agency enforces the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”), a state law that prohibits employment discrimination.
Contact an Employment Lawyer for your Discrimination Case
It will be extremely beneficial to you and your case to have an employment attorney. This legal professional will help you build the strongest possible case with his or her knowledge of the law and experience representing employees and job applicants in discrimination cases. KM&A offers free and immediate consultations with an employment discrimination attorney. It is our philosophy that aggressively pursuing our clients’ interests means that we have to be extremely accessible. Remember, the consultations are always free so do not hesitate to contact us at 412-626-5626 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steps Necessary to Sue for Discrimination
Oftentimes, you must file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC before you can bring a discrimination lawsuit against your employer. You can do this in person or by mail. The EEOC will investigate your charge and try to resolve it. Keep in mind, when you file a charge with the EEOC, you should request that it be dual-filed with the PHRC. An employment attorney can guide you through the filing process.
Once the EEOC dismisses your charge, OR after 180 days have passed AND you have requested and received a Notice of Right-to-Sue, you can file a lawsuit in a court of law. You have 90 days to file your lawsuit after receiving the Notice. There are certain cases in which different rules apply (e.g., in age discrimination cases). To be sure you are following proper procedure, check with your employment attorney.
If you file under federal anti-discrimination law (e.g., Title VII), you can file your lawsuit in federal court. If you file under state anti-discrimination law (e.g., PHRA), you can file your lawsuit in state court. If you file under both federal and state anti-discrimination law, you can file in either federal or state court, but not both. It may be to your advantage to file in federal court if possible. You can discuss your options with your employment attorney.
If you have been discriminated against, contact a KM&A attorney to discuss the details of your case and receive the help you deserve.