If you or a loved one has faced workplace discrimination, you’re not alone. In the U.S. 3 out of 5 people have witnessed or faced workplace discrimination based on age, race, or gender. The same injustice that this injustice so rampant also makes it difficult to win a lawsuit about discrimination.
If you’ve faced age, racial, or gender discrimination in the workplace you may feel like no one hears you.
Luckily, there are options. This article provides you all you need to know to win your workplace discrimination lawsuit.
When Can You File a Workplace Discrimination Lawsuit?
Discrimination happens all the time, but it’s important to know when legal action is possible.
The U.S. government only defends against certain kinds of discrimination. There are, however, specific acts and bills in place that defend against Americans With Disabilities, people aged 40 and older, as well as the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which defends against discrimination based on age, race, color, religion, and nation of origin.
These are the types of discrimination covered by the federal government. Your state or local government may have laws in place that defend against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, language, and immigration status.
Now that you know the types of discrimination that are covered, let’s take a look at the next steps.
What Sort of Claims Can You File?
A person suffering from workplace discrimination has several types of claims to file.
The first is a Discriminatory Intent or Discriminatory Treatment claim. This is your standard type of discrimination — a worker treated unjustly by an employer based on age, race, gender, etc.
Another is Disparate Impact, which is when a discriminatory policy gets placed into effect indirectly. An example of this is if a company fires all employees under 5’6 (the standard height of a female is 5’4). While Disparate Impact is less direct than Discriminatory Treatment, it can still intentional and damaging.
Whether discriminated against directly or indirectly, you are entitled to compensation for your unjust treatment.
What Sort of Compensation Can You Get?
The money you attempt to win in a discrimination case is called “damages”. You can receive damages in several ways.
If you’ve been fired from your job due to discrimination, you may be entitled to back pay. If you win your case, that will mean your employer will have to pay you back for the unemployment you suffered.
You may also be entitled to front pay. If you can make a case that due to your discrimination you will not be able to find work for a significant amount of time, your employer may have to pay you for that time you spend unemployed. If you choose to go for this kind of compensation, you will have to show proof of your attempts to get jobs.
You can also win cases to win compensation for losses in job benefits, like dental care, health care, or retirement plans.
But it’s not strictly financial. Discrimination also causes a heavy mental strain. If you can provide a mental health professional to prove you’ve suffered mental or emotional damages as a result of your discrimination, you may be entitled to emotional distress damages.
If the case is really egregious, you may be able to win punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to make an example of a discriminatory employer. You’ll have to have some very strong evidence to win a case like this, so think carefully before you go through with it.
If you want to win your case, it’s important to get specific about the compensation you’re looking for.
Before You Hire a Lawyer
Now that you know the type of discrimination you faced and the compensation you’re entitled to, you may think it’s time to hire a lawyer. But not so fast.
Before you hire a lawyer, make sure you try to resolve the issue with your employer. This is not to try to convince you to make peace but to help you win your case.
When your case goes to trial, the judge and jury will look for evidence that you tried to work out the issue with your employer. If you want to be extra careful (you probably do), be sure to file a formal complaint with your company and file an administrative charge. By doing this, you’ll eliminate doubt in a judge or jury’s mind that you’re just out looking for money.
You may be attempted to hire a lawyer immediately, but doing so may shift the jury against you. Before you hire a lawyer, deal directly with your employer.
Hiring a Lawyer
Now that you’ve done that hard work of figuring out your case, it’s time to hire a lawyer to take over. The only decision left to make is making sure you pick the correct lawyer.
There are many options, but when hiring a lawyer you want to make sure you hire someone who specializes in your type of case. You’ll want a lawyer who’s specifically focused on issues of discrimination and engaged in work with social justice.
Thankfully, such lawyers are available. Community Law, PLLC, is a Tampa-based law firm specializing in injustice for victims of discrimination. To learn more about their practice, go here.
Hiring the correct lawyer is the final step you have to take alone to win your case. After a lawyer is hired, they’ll help you work through the legal system, and provide you with the support you need to win your lawsuit.
You’re Not Alone
If you live in the United States and are a victim of discrimination, you’re not alone. There aren’t only people who’ve been through similar situations to you, but also lawyers working hard to make up for what you’ve suffered.
No matter what form your discrimination has taken, you have options to get your compensation. Make sure you take action to win justice for yourself and win your workplace discrimination lawsuit.
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