Whether you’re sure that you’re being discriminated against in the workplace or you “only” suspect that you’re being illegally mistreated, it’s important to explore your legal options with the assistance of an experienced employment discrimination lawyer Washington, D.C. area residents trust. One of the most compelling reasons why mistreated employees choose to come forward involves protecting their fellow co-workers. If one individual is being subjected to discriminatory workplace treatment, chances are that others are experiencing the same treatment, have in the past, and/or will in the future. By speaking with an experienced Washington, D.C. employment discrimination lawyer, you could not only safeguard your own rights but also help to ensure that the rights of others are protected as well.
Common Forms of Workplace Discrimination
For decades, federal law has prohibited discrimination in the workplace based on certain characteristics. State and D.C. laws, as well as laws that apply to federal workers specifically, often expand upon general federal employment discrimination law. In nearly every situation, and as applied to nearly every employer, workers cannot be discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, gender, age, religious beliefs, nationality, ethnicity, disability, or genetics. Many jurisdiction-specific laws also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, pregnancy (often classified as a disability), marital status, and other characteristics fundamental to a person’s being. If you have questions about whether the mistreatment you’re experiencing at work qualifies as discrimination, our firm’s Washington, D.C. employment discrimination lawyer can help to clarify and to protect your rights if they are being infringed upon.
Are Harassment and Retaliation Forms of Discrimination?
Sexual harassment is legally classified as a form of sex discrimination. Therefore, many of the “rules” of discrimination law apply directly in sexual harassment cases. Similarly, retaliation based on a protected classification is treated as a form of discrimination. Retaliation is, essentially, unlawful discrimination manifested as an adverse action taken against a worker who has engaged in a protected activity. It’s important to note however, that not all protected activities are tied to protected classifications. For example, if a worker was reassigned to a lower paying position because they took time off from work to serve on a jury, this would be considered unlawful retaliation. In this example, the retaliation has nothing to do with a worker’s protected characteristics, only with their engagement in a legally protected activity. However, if a worker is retaliated against for filing a race discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that would be unlawful retaliation that is related to both the worker’s protected characteristics and protected activities.
If you have questions about harassment, retaliation, or any other aspect of discrimination law, please let our firm’s Washington, D.C. employment discrimination lawyer know. We’ll be happy to provide you with personalized guidance after learning about your unique situation.
What if I’m Worried that Talking to a Lawyer Will Make Things Worse at Work?
It’s important to understand that consultations with the experienced Washington, D.C. legal team at Eric Siegel Law are confidential. As noted above, retaliation is illegal. If you choose to file an anonymous complaint, to file a named complaint, to submit an investigation request, or even to file legal action against your employer for engaging in illegal behavior, it would be illegal for your employer to retaliate against you. With that said, many workers are understandably concerned about “taking heat” from co-workers, etc. in the event that they find out you’ve been speaking with an attorney. The choice to tell anyone about our consultation and/or work together will always be up to you. We take our duty to keep your consultation and/or attorney-client relationship confidential very, very seriously. Our firm’s respected Washington, D.C. employment discrimination lawyer can also answer any questions you may have about what to expect – should you choose to move forward – at any time.
The Ins and Outs of the EEOC
Depending on your unique circumstances, if you choose to pursue legal action against your employer, we may need to work together to submit an investigation request to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before we can proceed with additional steps. The EEOC is a government agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws. In its capacity as an investigator, it has the authority to review discrimination charges against employers before workers bring lawsuits against them privately. In a small fraction of cases, the EEOC chooses to file lawsuits under its own power post-review of complaints submitted by workers and/or their attorneys. The EEOC may also try to settle the matter in question if it chooses not to try the case.
Alternatively, we may be able to pursue arbitration or file a case on our own. This area of law is particularly complex and no two cases are exactly the same. When you schedule a no-risk consultation with our legal team, you’ll be able to explain your situation. Then, we will be able to advise you of your legal options so that you can make an informed decision about your next steps. It’s important to note that all of our consultations are confidential. Too often, workers are afraid to speak with an attorney because they are afraid of being retaliated against by their employers. We will keep your story in confidence if/until you direct us to behave otherwise. We take great pride in safeguarding the rights of workers and will treat your legal situation with the utmost respect.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you believe that you may be experiencing discrimination in the hiring, employment, or termination process, please connect with the experienced legal team at Eric Siegel Law today. You don’t need to know “for sure” that you have grounds to file legal action to explore your options. Additionally, you don’t need to file legal action simply because you learn that this is an option for you. All a consultation does is allow you to answer questions and receive knowledgeable guidance. The next steps are always up to you. Please connect with our firm’s Washington, D.C. employment discrimination lawyer today; we look forward to speaking with you.
Steps to Take If You’re Facing Discrimination at Work
If you suspect that you’re being discriminated against at work, you don’t have to sit there and take it. Here are a few steps you can take: