As experienced employment discrimination attorneys, our job is to step in when the federal and state laws enacted to protect you from discrimination at the workplace are disobeyed. If you have been discriminated against as a member of any of the following protected classes, you may have legal cause to file a lawsuit against a current or former employer:
Federal and state laws protect you from being discriminated against because of your:
- Sex (pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity)
- Skin color
- National origin or ethnicity
- Age (40 or older)
- Physical or psychiatric disability
- Genetic information, including family medical history
- Arrest record
- And more. . .
You should be aware that applicants, as well as employees and former employees, are generally legally protected from employment discrimination.
Whether the discrimination you experienced has taken the form of excluding you as a possible hire, harassing you at the workplace, failing to offer you training that others are receiving, failing to promote you or give you deserved bonuses or other perks, disciplining you more harshly than other employees, seating you separately from other staff, excluding you from office parties or events, or wrongfully terminating you, our team of employment lawyers has the experience to help you navigate a complicated legal landscape.
The Law Is on Your Side and So Are Our Employment Discrimination Attorneys
Despite federal and state laws meant to protect you from discrimination in the workplace, you may have suffered harsh, unequal treatment. If you believe your rights have been violated in the workplace, it is critical that you consult with a qualified employment attorney immediately. There is a legal concept, known as a statute of limitations, that may apply in your case. In order to ascertain whether your case falls under a particular statute of limitations, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
FMCO attorneys have years of successful legal strategies behind us, so we know precisely what type of evidence to gather, who is likely to be a helpful witness, and what tools to use to persuade your employer that negotiating a reasonable settlement is a better choice than having the company’s reputation sullied in a costly, time-consuming court battle.
Federal Laws Against Employment Discrimination
Under the federal laws, discrimination is illegal and victims are entitled to recover damages. These laws include, but are not limited to:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Pregnancy Discrimination (PDA)
- Equal Pay Act (EPA)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
In addition, in 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and on January 20, 2021, President Biden formalized this decision as an Executive Order.
Illinois State Law Against Discrimination
Under the Illinois Human Rights Act of 1979, other categories were added to the federal list of protected classes, including:
- Parental status
- Citizenship status
- Military status (i.e. veterans, those on active duty or in the reserves)
- Property ownership
- Social or economic status at birth and beyond
- Political opinion
- Conviction of a crime
Whether your employer has violated federal laws or laws specific to the State of Illinois, in some cases, you may be entitled to damages for emotional harm (e.g. humiliation, mental anguish) as well as economic losses.
Remember too, that the person who discriminated against you need not be the owner, CEO, manager or even a supervisor. If you have complained to the company (perhaps the Human Resources department), and no steps have been taken to remedy the situation, the business itself may be liable.
Specific Steps Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil Will Take to Fight for You
Our team of highly skilled negotiators and litigators is well-versed in the complexities of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.
Under federal law, discrimination cases require filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before pursuing an employment discrimination lawsuit, a process we are extremely familiar with. Typically, this claim must be filed within 180 calendar days of the incident, though the filing deadline is extended to 300 days if a state or local agency also enforces a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the same basis.
If your claim cannot be resolved through the EEOC’s conciliation/mediation process, we may be able to bring a lawsuit to recover damages and/or have you reinstated in your position at the company or even promoted to a position you earned but were previously denied, depending on the particular circumstances of your case.
Can I suffer negative consequences just for reporting discrimination in my workplace?
No. Both federal and Illinois anti-retaliation and whistleblower laws protect you from adverse employment actions.
Without these protections, reporting illegal behavior would be impossible. For this reason, if you believe your employer has retaliated against you (for example by wrongfully terminating you) for complaining about discrimination, we encourage you to speak with an experienced employment law attorney who can help discern the appropriate course of action.
Contact Our Experienced Employment Attorneys Now
If you have suffered the negative, often dire, effects of discrimination at your workplace or in the course of your search for employment, consulting with one of our compassionate attorneys can make a significant difference in the course of your life. Don’t be complicit in bigotry by remaining a victim of discrimination or false accusation. Contact us now so we can fight for the fair treatment you deserve.