Federal Protections Against On-the-Job Discrimination

Workplace discrimination is all too common in the United States. Fortunately, federal law provides workers protection from a variety of discriminatory work practices.

Federal Equal Employment Laws

A variety of federal laws act together to prevent discrimination by employers. Each is tailored to remedy a specific problem, but they all work together. Some of these laws include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of one's race, color, religion, gender or national origin.
  • The Equal Pay Act of 1963 ensures that men and women who do substantially the same work in the same organization receive similar wages.
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects workers over 40.
  • Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 allows workers to receive monetary damages in the event of workplace discrimination.

prohibits employer discrimination against those with certain disabilities.

Discriminatory Actions

Under Title VII, the ADA and the ADEA, employers may not discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:

  • Hiring and firing
  • Compensation, including pay, retirement plans, and disability leave
  • Transfer, promotion, layoff or recall
  • Fringe benefits
  • Other terms and conditions of employment

Available Remedies

Under these laws, which apply to all private, state and federal employers that employ more than 15 individuals, a worker can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if he believes he was discriminated against in the workplace. Once the worker receives a "right to sue" notice from the EEOC, he may file a lawsuit against his employer for damages including:

  • Back pay
  • Hiring
  • Reasonable accommodation
  • Other actions that will make the individual "whole"

If successful, an individual may even be able to recover attorneys' fees, expert fees and court costs.

An Employment Law Lawyer Can Help

The process for filing a discrimination claim against your former or current employer can be difficult. If you or someone you love has suffered workplace discrimination, contact an experienced employment law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can assess your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.