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Understanding your rights as a worker

You found a new job after moving to Missouri or Kansas, and you thought everything was going to be great. Shortly after you started, you began to notice that you were being treated differently than other employees. You weren't sure why until a coworker suggested it might be because you're a woman.

Once he suggested that, you began to pay attention and noticed that you'd be treated differently when you wanted to do a job. You'd be told you should let a man handle it or that you should stick to desk work. The underlying sexism is obvious, and you want to know if you can file a claim against your employer. With the protection of the law and the assistance of an employment law attorney, you may be able to.

Who is protected in the workplace by state and federal law? 

Whenever you work a job where an employer has 15 or more employees, you receive protection from federal law. In some cases, the employer must have at least 20 employees, such as in cases of age discrimination.

What can an employment discrimination attorney do to help?

An experienced lawyer with a strong command of the EEOC regulations has ability to investigate charges of discrimination made against employers under federal law. The EEOC takes time to assess the situation and to make a finding. If discrimination occurred, then the EEOC steps in to try to settle the situation. If the situation isn't resolved after that, your lawyer may be able to help you pursue a lawsuit against your employer.

The EEOC also takes time to prevent discrimination in workplaces by educating, reaching out to, and training individuals on recognizing and stopping discrimination.

Which workers or applicants receive protection from the EEOC?

Federal law protects against discrimination based on a person's color, race, pregnancy, gender identity, national origin, disability, genetic information, sex, religion and sexual orientation. For example, if an employer finds out that one of his employees is a homosexual, the employer can't fire that individual based on his or her sexual preferences. If the worker finds out that he or she was terminated because of sexual preferences, then a lawsuit is a possibility.

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