“Can I sue my employer for discrimination?” That’s a question we are often asked during legal consultations. As an employment attorney, our answer is, “it depends.” There are a lot of factors that must be considered when determining if a person can sue for discrimination.
Questions an Employment Lawyer Asks to Determine if You Can Sue Your Employer for Discrimination
Are you part of a protected class?
To sue an employer for discrimination you need to be part of a protected class. According to the EEOC this includes:
“Applicants, employees and former employees are protected from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability and genetic information (including family medical history).”
If you’re unsure if you are part of a protected class, it’s best to schedule a free consultation with an employment lawyer to find out.
When did the discrimination occur?
There are statutes of limitations for filing a lawsuit. In other words, you have a set time frame in which to file a lawsuit before you are no longer able to. The countdown starts on the last day you were discriminated against, not the first.
Can you describe the discrimination?
An employment attorney needs details on workplace discrimination. What happened and why do you think you were discriminated against? Come to the consultation prepared to tell your story.
How were you treated differently than others?
Were you treated differently than your coworkers, for example? This could include not being given raises and promotions when others were, being terminated when others were not, having different working conditions, etc.
Were there any witnesses?
Witnesses are not always necessary, but they help. (Click here for how to document workplace discrimination).
Have you filed with the EEOC or Commission on Civil Rights?
You can speak with an employment attorney before filing with the EEOC. In fact, this is often a good step to take since issues may be resolved without needing to involve them. Employers may be more responsive when an attorney is involved, even if the case is filed with the EEOC. If you have filed your case with the EEOC or Commission on Civil Rights, come to your consultation prepared to share information on when the case was filed and what the status currently is.
Were you given a “right to sue” letter?
If you have filed with the EEOC and were given a “right to sue” letter, you have a short time frame to file a lawsuit. It’s important to call an employment lawyer right away to discuss your options and to start the process. Otherwise, you could lose the right to sue your employer for discrimination, even if discrimination truly did occur.
“Can I sue my employer for discrimination?”
The only way to know for sure is to speak with an employment attorney. During a free consultation with the Quinn Law Group, we can evaluate your case and discuss what your options are. To schedule a virtual meeting with an employment lawyer, call 443-675-1005 or click here.
The recommendations above are general suggestions and do not constitute legal advice for your individual situation.
Keep in mind that this blog is for informational purposes only and not legal advice. For that, you need to speak with an attorney. Fortunately, the Quinn Law Group offers free consultations.