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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Employment Discrimination

Dec. 18, 2017

Federal laws, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibit organizations, governments, and private persons from discriminating against their employees throughout 50 states. However, some employees are not sure whether they have been discriminated or what actions they should take to cope with their situation.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding employment discrimination that may be helpful to understanding your case.

1. What is a protected trait or class?

It refers to characteristics that keep an employer from firing, laying off, or not hiring you based on that particular trait or class. They include age, sex, religion, national origin, race, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and disability.

2. What are the elements for proving an employment discrimination case?

If you have been discriminated, you need to show that:

  • You were qualified in all respects to perform the job

  • You belong to a protected class

  • Someone else was hired in your place who was outside the protected class

  • Your employer terminated you for unlikely reasons, which were just a cover up for their real intention

You may have to seek legal help of a reliable employment discrimination attorney to prove your claim.

3. The employer terminated me for my religious beliefs. Does this count in employment discrimination?

Since religion is a protected trait, your employer, in most cases, cannot terminate you for your religious beliefs. However, there are a few exceptions. Courts opt for a two-step process for assessing a religious discrimination case, where an employee is first required to establish the foundation of their case and then the employer is given a chance to defend their decision.

4. Is it discrimination if my employer forces me to take vacations during a religious event?

As long as your employer treats others in the same manner, it doesn’t count as discrimination. However, it should be left on choice whether an employee wants to take the holiday, as forcing them would plainly be against their will.

5. If I file an age discrimination case, what type of damages can I expect to recover?

The type of damages varies from situation to situation, but most commonly, employees are awarded monetary compensation. You may also be placed in a different position, promoted, or reinstated. In some cases, compensation for punitive damages is also given to employees. However, they must produce solid evidence indicating the ill intent of the employer. For supporting this requirement, you must be able to show that the employer’s conduct was flagrant and outrageous.

6. My employer has a habit of yelling at me for no particular reason. Does this count in discrimination?

It will be discrimination only if the employer is yelling at you in particular because you belong to a protected class. However, if they are in general that way and yell at everyone, this conduct is not discriminatory because the law doesn’t require your employer to be nice.

If you have any other questions regarding employment discrimination, it is essential that you clear all your doubts before moving on to file a claim against your employer. You should talk to an experienced Roselle employment discrimination attorney to discuss your case and evaluate your legal options. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today for a consultation.