In a perfect world, we would all be judged on our merits, skills, and accomplishments alone. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination remains a significant issue in many industries and workplaces. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in 2020, there were over 67,000 charges of workplace discrimination filed. Discrimination can take many forms, including unequal pay, harassment, and wrongful termination.
If you have experienced workplace discrimination, it can be difficult to know where to turn. That’s where employment lawyers come in.
What is an Employment Lawyer?
An employment lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in employment law. Employment law encompasses a wide range of issues, including discrimination, wrongful termination, workplace safety, and wage and hour disputes.
Employment lawyers can assist both employers and employees in a variety of ways. For employees who have experienced workplace discrimination, an employment lawyer can provide legal representation and help navigate the often-complex legal process. For employers, an employment lawyer can assist with drafting and reviewing employment contracts, advising on workplace policies, and providing legal representation in employment-related disputes.
How Employment Lawyers Can Help with Discrimination Claims
If you have experienced workplace discrimination, an employment lawyer can assist you in a number of ways. Some of the ways an employment lawyer can help with discrimination claims include:
- Evaluating Your Case: An employment lawyer can review the details of your case and determine whether you have a valid discrimination claim. They can also advise you on the best course of action to take.
- Filing a Complaint: If you decide to move forward with a discrimination claim, an employment lawyer can assist you in filing a complaint with the appropriate agency, such as the EEOC.
- Representing You in Court: If your discrimination claim proceeds to litigation, an employment lawyer can provide legal representation and advocate for your rights in court.
- Negotiating a Settlement: In some cases, a discrimination claim can be resolved through a settlement. An employment lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and help you achieve a fair settlement.
Types of Discrimination in the Workplace
There are many types of discrimination that can occur in the workplace. Some of the most common types of workplace discrimination include:
- Age Discrimination: This occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee or job applicant based on their age, typically over 40.
- Disability Discrimination: This occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee or job applicant because of a physical or mental disability.
- Gender Discrimination: This occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee or job applicant based on their gender.
- Pregnancy Discrimination: This occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee or job applicant because of their pregnancy or related medical conditions.
- Race Discrimination: This occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee or job applicant based on their race or ethnicity.
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination: This occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee or job applicant based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Q: Do I need an employment lawyer if I’ve experienced workplace discrimination?
A: While it is possible to file a discrimination claim without the assistance of an employment lawyer, having legal representation can greatly increase your chances of success. Employment lawyers can provide legal advice, guidance, and representation throughout the entire process, from filing a complaint to negotiating a settlement or going to trial.
Q: How much does it cost to hire an employment lawyer for a discrimination case?
A: The cost of hiring an employment lawyer for a discrimination case can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the experience and reputation of the lawyer, and the location of the case. Some employment lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case, while others charge hourly or flat fees.
Q: Can an employment lawyer help me if I’ve been wrongfully terminated?
A: Yes, employment lawyers can assist with wrongful termination cases. Wrongful termination can occur for a variety of reasons, including discrimination, retaliation, and breach of contract. An employment lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your termination and determine whether you have a viable claim.
Q: What should I do if I’m being harassed at work?
A: If you’re experiencing harassment at work, it’s important to document the harassment and report it to your employer or HR department. If the harassment continues, you may want to consider speaking with an employment lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Workplace discrimination can have a significant impact on your career, your finances, and your overall well-being. If you’ve experienced discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to understand your rights and take action to protect them. An employment lawyer can provide invaluable legal guidance, representation, and advocacy throughout the process.
Remember, you don’t have to face workplace discrimination alone. By working with an experienced employment lawyer, you can take the necessary steps to fight back against discrimination and ensure that your rights are protected.