Helping employees find justice in eleven states with offices in Illinois, Georgia, and Alabama.
The attorneys at Barrett & Farahany represent clients who have been subjected to all forms of discrimination in the workplace, including but not limited to:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal to discriminate against those with physical and mental disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government services.Learn More
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 early retirement.Learn More
Employers are not allowed to discriminate against workers of a specific gender or sexual orientation. This includes but is not limited to any individual who identifies as LGBTQ. They have protections during the hiring process and during employment. If someone becomes publicly open about their orientation after being hired or remains private about their orientation, discrimination against them remains illegal. Examples of gender orientation discrimination would be forcing someone to a new department after they come out as homosexual or transgender.Gender 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, or any other similar practice.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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 to each, and it is best to talk with an experienced lawyer to review your rights and options.Learn More
Discrimination remains all-too-common in the workplace. No one deserves to be treated differently based on what they are rather than who, least of all when they’re trying to make a living. Worse, some might be attacked, threatened, or harassed for reporting discrimination. If you feel you have experienced workplace discrimination and retaliation for reporting it, you need an experienced attorney by your side who is committed to aggressively advocating for your rights and interests.
The attorneys at Barrett & Farahany have been standing up for victims of discrimination and retaliation in Alabama and Georgia for decades. We have dedicated our careers 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.
Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law and work closely with clients to provide skilled and personalized representation. Our efforts work to help ensure that those responsible for discrimination are held fully accountable. For free consultations, call now at 334-237-7773 or online.
Under federal law, it is unlawful for an employer to take any employment action against an employee based on who they are or what they believe. An employer cannot discriminate against someone because of their age, race, sex, religion, pregnancy, disability, natural origin, or other protected class.
They also cannot commit an adverse employment action against an employee for discriminatory reasons. Adverse employment actions include:
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.
It’s the plot of horror stories: First, an employee reports their employer’s financial or environmental misconduct or stands up for a coworker who is being harassed. Then their job or – in extreme cases – their physical safety is threatened.
Workplace retaliation is more common than you may realize and just as serious. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency responsible for investigating charges of employer misconduct, retaliation represented 56.0% percent of claims in 2021. This percentage is more than double what it was ten years prior, which means the problem is only getting worse. In addition, PBS reported that seven in ten workers who report sexual harassment experience payback from their employers.
With the avid assault on employees by employers who don’t care about the law, your main course of justice and protection is filing a lawsuit with the help of workplace retaliation attorneys.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates employers to treat all employees fairly, regardless of an employee’s ability to:
Perform Manual Tasks
Care for Themselves
The ADA also mandates employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities regarding their schedule, equipment, access to facilities, and more. Exceptions can be made if the employer can prove that a current or potential employee’s disability would prove a danger to them or other employees, even with reasonable accommodations.
The ADA covers more than just Americans with disabilities in the workplace. Government entities 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 with disabilities to obtain access. The ADA also covers public transportation, businesses, and non-profit service providers. Each requires equal accessibility in public accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
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/or the presence of children. Individuals and entities that must comply with the Fair Housing Act include:
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.
Federal regulations make it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against a worker who engages in conduct that the law protects. This includes:
While the fact that you have legal protections does not deter many employers, filing a lawsuit in response will. What makes this even more important is the effect retaliation can have on the workplace as a whole. A business’s “open door” policy can be devastating to company morale. Furthermore, if you are punished for speaking up, your coworkers will think twice about reporting any company wrongdoing in the future.
Workplace retaliation, by definition, is not bullying or harassment, though they are aspects of it. Rather, retaliation is an act that is “materially adverse” and likely to “dissuade a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.” As stated, unlawful retaliation typically takes the form of demotion, threats, or termination, but as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, it does not have to be confined to employment or occur at the workplace.
Retaliation in the workplace is based on fear. When a manager or the company itself is backed up against the wall for a violation, they are going to use their power to make the problem go away. The easiest way is to push the whistleblower out of the organization. However, the law is on your side. The EEOC, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a number of other federal acts and agencies have provisions to protect tipsters from retaliation.
As defined by the EEOC, employers are legally protected from workplace retaliation only if they have engaged in “protected activity.” This include the following:
It’s worth pointing out that the law provides these protections to employees so long as they are acting in good faith. This means that they cannot be subjected to retaliation even if the basis of the complaint is later judged to fall below the standard required to prove illegal behavior.
For instance, an employee who is fired for filing a sexual harassment complaint can sue under retaliation laws even if it is determined that the incident(s) that triggered the complaint did not qualify as harassment under the legal definition. If the complaint had a reasonable basis—i.e., the employee wasn’t merely lying outright for malicious reasons—then the retaliation laws remain in effect.
Any employee who engages in protected activity is protected by workplace retaliation laws. These laws also extend to those closely associated with a party that engages in protected activity. This includes a co-worker who aided an employee in preparing a discrimination claim, their spouse/partner who may or may not have the same employer, and dependents who use the employee’s benefits.
Workplace retaliation laws protect workers from unjustified loss of employment and unjust denial of advancement opportunities. They do not cover relatively minor phenomena such as “coldness” towards an employee who has initiated a discrimination claim.
In addition, employees are required to exercise sound judgment when engaging in protected activity. It is one thing to calmly inform a supervisor about illegal or discriminatory activities, and another to threaten a co-worker with violence.
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