Employment Discrimination Lawyers in Austin
According to 2011 data issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), discrimination charges were higher than in 2010, and totaled 99,947 cases. There are many ways in which a prospective employer can discriminate. If he/she chooses not to hire you based off of your age, accent (race), gender, or so forth, this is illegal. There are also several ways in which he/she can carry out discriminatory practices in the workforce. If your employer treats you worse because of your religion or disability or if he/she retaliates against you after you file a charge of discrimination, this is grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Employment discrimination often refers to when an employer makes decisions based upon stereotypes. Frequently, an individual will make assumptions about the performance of an individual based upon their sex, race, age, religion, ethnic group or disability. Also, sometimes an employer can deny an employment opportunity to someone who is married to an individual of a particular race or religion or who possesses a certain disability. According to 2011 EEOC statistics,
- 37.4% of discrimination claims involved retaliation
- 35.4% involved race
- 28.4% involved gender
- 25.8% involved disability
Examples of Workplace Discrimination
Examples of employment discrimination can include stating preferred candidates in a job advertisement, denying certain employees compensation or benefits, discriminating when assigning disability leave, maternity leave or retirement options, discrimination when issuing raises, promotions or lay-offs, and so forth.
Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination is when a person is blatantly treated differently or less favorably because of their age, race, color, origin, religion, sex, family status or disability. Indirect discrimination involves an incident that is not as blatant, for example, this could involve a requirement that puts a certain group of people at a disadvantage.
Laws that Prohibit Discrimination
Several federal employment discrimination laws cover the various aspects of discrimination:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on color, gender, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion and sex (this includes sexual harassment)
- The Civil Rights Act of 1991 allows for monetary damages when employment discrimination takes place
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects employees aged 40 or older
- The Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act bars discrimination against individuals with disabilities
- The Equal Pay Act covers gender discrimination
- The Family and Medical Leave Act allows for time off for health conditions without a person's job being placed in jeopardy
- Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act disallows an employer to discriminate based upon genetic information about an applicant or employee
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is in charge of enforcing each of these laws. The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA) is the state law that protects people from discrimination in the workforce. It covers all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employers.
Filing an Employment Discrimination Claim
If you have been the target of unlawful discrimination, you should file your complaint within 180 days of the incident. The quicker you act the better chance that an investigation can be conducted successfully. To file a claim, you should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can file a claim in person at an EEOC office or send one via mail. Depending on your employer's anti-discrimination policy, you may be able to file a complaint with your company directly.
Keep in mind to record specific dates and details to submit as thorough of a claim as possible. In this situation, hiring a personal injury attorney is one of the smartest decisions you can make. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights. Call Zinda Law Group today to learn more about discrimination laws, how to file a complaint and to get advice about whether or not to pursue litigation.