Discrimination occurs when a person receives unfavorable treatment due to a personal characteristic. Under federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against individuals who belong to a protected class. If you are an employer and an employee has complained about discrimination in the workplace or if you are a victim of workplace discrimination, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

Employment Discrimination

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on their race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion or sex. Many federal laws prohibit workplace discrimination, including:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Equal Pay Act of 1963
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991

These laws are enforced by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They prohibit discrimination in recruitment, hiring, compensation, classification and compensation of employees. They also prohibit retaliation against an employee who makes a claim of discrimination or participates in an investigation of discrimination in the workplace.

Responding to Allegations of Discrimination

Because discrimination lawsuits are time-consuming and costly, employers should be proactive to avoid potential conflicts. To avoid allegations of discrimination, employers should be prepared to demonstrate that their negative action against an employee served a business necessity that is unrelated to their membership in a protected class.

To minimize their chances of liability in a discrimination suit, employers should establish a clear policy for employees to express complaints and grievances. A policy that encourages communication in the workplace can provide a first line of defense. Assess the employee’s concerns to determine if they have any merit. If you are unsure, contact Parks, Chesin & Walbert to discuss your case.

Another defense to discrimination claims is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ). A BFOQ creates a preference for a particular group (for example, a certain age group or gender). Although it is facially discriminatory, some employers have specific job-related reasons for preferring a certain group. For example, airlines may set age limitations for pilots. Because this age classification is related to safety, it does not qualify as unlawful discrimination.

When making decisions that involve employee transitions (such as hiring, firing and promotions), make sure you have a business reason to make that particular selection. For example, you can rely on quantifiable factors such as seniority or job performance when offering a salary increase or promotion.

Contact Parks, Chesin & Walbert for Assistance with Your Discrimination Case

At Parks, Chesin & Walbert, our team of employment lawyers represent both plaintiffs and defendants in discrimination cases. We understand that you have a lot at stake and we investigate each case thoroughly to build a successful defense. We will provide straightforward and honest advice about your chances of success. Parks, Chesin & Walbert are committed to protecting your rights. Call Parks, Chesin & Walbert at 404-873-8048 today to discuss your discrimination case.

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