Does your experience qualify as employment discrimination? Find out by visiting the FGBO blog and hearing from our Tampa employment discrimination lawyers at FGBO.
Employment discrimination can happen at any stage in the hiring, employment, and termination process, but the good news is that you do not have to suffer on your own. When an individual has a feeling that they have been discriminated against (and don’t second guess your intuition and gut feelings) they should promptly call a highly experienced employment discrimination law firm to have their concerns be heard and acted upon. There are complexities to navigating state and federal commissions and courts, so a trusted legal ally on your side is critical to handling your claim with less stress.
Employment discrimination comes down to being treated differently or less favorably than other employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination protects individuals from employment discrimination based on race, national origin, color, sex (inclusive of gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), age (40 years old and above), disability, or genetic information. Florida law essentially mirrors these protected classes and categories, and also includes discrimination based on marital status or HIV status. A lawyer with a substantive background in these employment discrimination lawsuits helps individuals decide which agency, including the Florida Commission on Human Relations, to process your claim with first as these commissions do have work-sharing agreements to process and cross-file claims.
Employment discrimination can raise its ugly head in many workplace scenarios, including if you are: not hired or promoted; demoted or given different job assignments; denied benefits; denied reasonable workplace accommodations due to your disability or religion; paid less than someone else with the same job; harassed; questioned inappropriately about medical or genetic information or have this information disclosed; reporting the discrimination or assisting with a proceeding and experience retaliation because of this; given unfair treatment when going on medical leave; disciplined; or fired. Harassment is a type of discrimination and includes unwelcome behavior imposed on anyone based on protected classes or categories by anyone in the workplace. Hostile work environments become toxic places where discrimination or harassment creates an unbearable workplace and interferes with an individual’s work performance. Employees who work in the United States – no matter if you are full-time, part-time, temporary, or a seasonal worker – are protected against these forms of discrimination when they work for a covered employer, union, or employment agency regardless of citizenship or work authorization status.
Other signs of employment discrimination to look for include unfair jobs ads and recruiting processes, biased candidate applications and hiring tests, and improper referral and reference practices. Oftentimes there is a pattern of discriminatory practices, so pay close attention whether you are in the job search or employee stage to see if there is a routine discriminatory practice against a protected class or category. Co-workers and colleagues should be mindful of small talk that routinely disparages a protected class, even if the comments seem to be in jest or if this pattern begins to increase when you speak up about the concern.
There are various employment discrimination claims that a skilled attorney can counsel individuals on. A discriminatory intent or treatment claim involves an employee who is treated worse at their workplace because of being a member of a protected class or category. A disparate impact claim is based on discrimination due to an employment policy, practice, or rule as anti-discrimination laws make these illegal due to the increased harm it causes on protected classes and categories. A retaliation claim can be filed when an employer treats an employee negatively for making an employment discrimination complaint or filing an EEOC charge.
When it comes to evidence, direct proof of employment discrimination or retaliation included in emails, letters, notes, memos, or verbal comments is the best way to prove your case. Circumstantial evidence can enable an individual to have a prima facie employment discrimination lawsuit when you don’t have direct evidence. Also, it can be extremely helpful to have testimony or statements from someone who has direct knowledge of what happened to you. Any files, policies and procedures, recordings, or other documentation showing workplace discrimination as well as retaliation are also key to your employment discrimination lawsuit.
Employment discrimination attorneys champion individuals who have been unjustly treated in the workplace and work tirelessly to get you any lost earnings, lost benefits, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and recover attorney fees and related court costs. When you have been treated unfairly or experienced retaliation, you deserve to have your employment discrimination concerns heard. If you have suffered employment discrimination, contact the experienced employment attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens for a free, confidential consultation. Our attorneys have helped people win multimillion-dollar jury awards and settlements in employment discrimination lawsuits in Tampa and throughout the state ranging from disability and age discrimination, race discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and more. You have a right to work in an environment free of discrimination and harassment, so contact us today to get your life and livelihood back on track.
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