Discrimination comes in numerous forms and happens in many areas of our society. Discrimination occurs commonly in the workplace, but it also happens when individuals apply for housing, try to obtain government services, or attempt to engage in commerce. If you feel you have experienced discrimination, you need an experienced attorney by your side who is committed to aggressively advocating for your rights and interests.
Attorney Kira Fonteneau has been standing up for victims of discrimination in Alabama since 2005. Kira has dedicated her career to providing a strong voice for those who are mistreated through no fault of their own and do not know where to turn for legal help. Kira has in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and she works closely with clients to provide skilled and personalized representation, and to help ensure that those responsible for discrimination are held fully accountable.
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Under federal law, it is unlawful for an employer to take any employment action against an employee based upon who they are or what they believe. An employer cannot discriminate against someone because of their age, race, sex, religion, pregnancy, disability or natural origin. They cannot commit an adverse employment action against an employee for discriminatory reasons.
Adverse employment actions include termination, demotion, failure to promote, reduction in work hours, unfavorable job assignments or involuntary transfers. Even “at will” employees are entitled to the legal protections afforded by the statutes. This means that employees have the right to sue employers who have engaged in discrimination, and to seek monetary damages and attorney's fees.
Attorney Fonteneau represents clients who have been subjected to all forms of discrimination in the workplace, including but not limited to:
- Racial Discrimination: There are various ways employees (or prospective employees) may be discriminated against because of their race, skin color, or ethnic origin. For example, during the hiring process, if an employer asks questions about a prospective employee's race and uses the answers as a basis for not hiring them, this is racial discrimination. Employers sometimes practice racial discrimination in the tests they give to evaluate a prospective employee and/or the workplace policies they have in place. These tests and policies sometimes single out (or more adversely impact) a particular race, and unless there is a legitimate business purpose for implementing them, this may be a valid basis for a racial discrimination claim.
- Sex Discrimination: Women are entitled to equal pay for equal work. When an employer pays a woman less money for the same or a similar job as one that is done by a man, this may be an Equal Pay Act (EPA) violation. The EPA requires not only an equal salary or hourly wage, but equal benefits as well. Discrimination in the workplace based on gender may be covered by both the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If you are considering legal action, you will need to decide which law you want to file your claim under. There are advantages and disadvantages with each, and it is best to talk with an experienced lawyer to review your rights and options.
- Age Discrimination: Employers are not allowed to discriminate against workers over the age of 40. Although there are multiple laws in place protecting older workers, ageism is prevalent in today's workplace. Technology and advanced computer algorithms have enabled employers to come up with more sophisticated ways to discriminate against older workers, such as targeting only younger workers in Facebook's job posting tool. Older workers also face many other types of discrimination, such as being passed over for a promotion, being subjected to unfair discipline, and being forced into an early retirement.
- Pregnancy Discrimination: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that was passed in 1978. The PDA requires employers to treat pregnant employees who are temporarily unable to work equally with employees who are temporarily unable to work for other reasons. Employers are also prohibited from refusing to hire a pregnant woman, terminating an employee because she's pregnant, denying a promotion to a woman because she's pregnant, demoting a woman because she's pregnant, and similar practices.
- Religious Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees (or prospective employees) because of their religious beliefs. Examples may include deciding not to hire an employee because of their religion, harassing employees because of their religious beliefs, or refusing to make a reasonable accommodation to allow an employee to engage in their religious practice without (the practice) conflicting with their workplace obligations.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates employers to treat all employees fairly, regardless of the employees' ability to:
- Perform Manual Tasks
- Care for Themselves
The ADA also mandates employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities with regard to their schedule, their equipment, access to facilities, and more.
The ADA covers more than just disabled Americans in the workplace. Government entitles are required to provide equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities to benefit from their programs, services, and activities. For example, government entities are required to follow architectural standards to accommodate those with disabilities in newly constructed buildings and make reasonable, necessary modifications to older buildings to make it possible for those who are disabled to obtain access. The ADA also covers public transportation, businesses, and non-profit service providers. Each requires equal accessibility in public accommodations to disabled individuals.
Passed in 1968, The Fair Housing Act prohibits you from being denied renting, buying or securing financing for housing due to your race, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children. Individuals and entities that must comply with the Fair Housing Act include:
- Real Estate Agents
- Banks, Mortgage and Finance Companies
- Insurance Providers
- Homeowner Associations (HOAs)
- Nursing Homes
- Colleges and Universities
- Government Agencies
If you feel you have been denied housing due to any of the above reasons, please call us, so we can stand up for your rights.
Contact a Skilled Alabama Discrimination Lawyer
If you or someone close to you has been the victim of any type of discrimination, there are legal remedies available. Discrimination is governed by several complex state and federal laws, however, and pursuing a claim can be a complicated and confusing process. Attorney Kira Fonteneau understands the complexities of the various discrimination laws, and she works closely with clients to explore every available legal avenue toward successfully obtaining appropriate relief. For a free consultation with attorney Fonteneau, contact our office today at (404) 383-5720, or you may send a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.