Both Federal and State laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees or job applications. Discrimination generally occurs when an employer subjects an employee to unfair treatment or a negative employment consequence based upon the employees' race, age, physical disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or national origin. These practices often occur during the hiring, promotion, demotion, compensation, or disciplinary phases of employment. Likewise, discriminatory practices may give rise to wrongful termination claims when an employee suffers a negative employment consequence based upon the threat or reporting of discriminatory practices.
From an employee's perspective, discrimination cases present particular difficulties because it may be difficult to prove the employer's conduct was associated with a particular discriminatory practice. Many states are at-will employment states. For example, an employer is free to hire, fire, promote, or discipline an employee so long as the basis of the decision is not motivated by an improper purpose. To prove a discriminatory practice takes a strategic and careful approach.
From an employer's perspective, a discrimination allegation can be quite stressful, embarrassing, and costly. The mere negative employment action of a protected class of employee often results in a discrimination allegation. It is important for employers to maintain accurate and detailed personnel records and ensure that management has clear direction through policies and procedures to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Our employment discrimination legal services include the following: