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Are Single Mothers Protected From Workplace Discrimination?

Oct. 11, 2023

It is not unusual for single mothers to suffer workplace discrimination, and it can lead to considerable stress, suffering, and financial turmoil if it happens to you. However, there are state and federal laws that give you the ability to fight back. Learn about workplace discrimination in this article, and talk to our Schaumburg workplace discrimination lawyer at Law Office of Michael T. Smith if you require additional information.

The Illinois Human Rights Act And Employment Discrimination

One of the key discrimination protections in Illinois is offered by the Illinois Human Rights Act. The Act bans discrimination in several areas, including employment, housing transactions, access to credit, and public accommodations. The Human Rights Act also outlaws sexual harassment and retaliation in work and of students in any educational institution in the state.

Additionally, the Act bans discrimination based on many protected classes. These include:

●        Sex

●        Race

●        Color

●        Religion

●        National origin

●        Age

●        Marital status

●        Order of protection status

●        Military status

●        Conviction record

The law also outlaws discrimination based on pregnancy, legal status, and arrest record in job-related matters. Some of the protections offered in employment include:

●        Hiring

●        Firing

●        Harassment

●        Layoff

●        Demotion

●        Promotion

●        Pay

●        Tenure

●        Terms and conditions of employment

●        Performance evaluation

●        Transfer pay

For example, it is common for companies to discriminate against single women with children because they may need more time off of work. A single mother could notice she did not receive the expected promotion. Instead, the promotion went to a younger woman without children. Is this discrimination? Not necessarily, but it is possible and should be investigated.

How Do You Know If A Job-Related Problem Is Illegal Discrimination?

One way that may suggest illegal discrimination occurred is to compare how people in various protected classes were treated at work. For instance, if you find out you, a single mother, received disciplinary action at work but someone not in a protected class did the same thing, it could be illegal discrimination.

However, the Act requires you to prove that you suffered an adverse employment action because of your protected status, such as being a single mother. Proof of causation can be obtained by either direct or circumstantial evidence. Causation will require a legal analysis by a skilled workplace discrimination lawyer.

Employers in Illinois understand it is illegal to discriminate against someone in a protected class. So, they will usually provide a nondiscriminatory reason for their actions. Proving that the employer acted illegally and discriminatorily against you is not easy and requires the help of an experienced attorney. If you think you were fired unlawfully or disciplined at work because you are in a protected class, talk to one of our workplace discrimination attorneys today.

Where You Can Report Workplace Discrimination

You can report alleged workplace discrimination to the Illinois Department of Human Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, you must file the charge within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act.

Speak To A Schaumburg Workplace Discrimination Lawyer

If you are a single mother in Schaumburg and suspect you were discriminated against at work, you do not have to tolerate it. You could have legal options, so contact our Schaumburg workplace discrimination lawyer at Law Office of Michael T. Smith & Associates or call us at (847) 466-1099 for a consultation.