Discrimination Lawyer in Oak Park

Discrimination Lawyer in Oak Park

The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibited employment discrimination 60 years later, and discrimination is still common in Chicago. However, for the most part, discrimination is much more subtle today. Some companies believe that low-key policies are under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s radar and will not result in adverse legal action.

If you were the victim of discrimination and government bureaucrats at the EEOC refused to protect you, most likely because the case did not offer an immediate and large payoff, the fight is not over. In fact, the fight is only beginning. To an assertive Oak Park discrimination lawyer like Mitchell Kline, no case is too big, and no case is too small. Our top legal team also does not shy away from complex cases. Regardless of the facts, we’re determined to get the best results possible.

Recognizing Employment Discrimination

Essentially, any preferential treatment at any stage of the employer/employee relationship is illegal discrimination if the potential employee, current employee, or ex-employee was in a protected class. Some examples include:

  • Pre-Employment: Illegal discrimination at this phase is quite common. For example, if an ad limits applicants to digital natives, that ad might violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Additionally, if applicants meet the minimum qualifications, employers must make reasonable accommodations available.
  • Current Employment: This duty continues after the employee is hired. A “reasonable accommodation” is not a compromise between employer and employee. Usually, the employee decides what is reasonable. Informal preferential treatment, such as a better shift, is another common form of discrimination.
  • Post Employment: Employers often use technicalities, like on-time records, to get rid of undesirable employees. If these undesirable employees are in protected classes, these technicalities are pretexts for discrimination.

Protected classes include gender (non-male), ethnicity (nonwhite), religion (any sincerely-held religious beliefs), age (over 40), and sexual orientation, a term that usually includes gender identity.

Basically, discrimination means treating different people differently. This discrimination could be direct (disparate treatment) or indirect (disparate impact).

Your Claim for Damages

If the EEOC refuses to step in, an Oak Park discrimination lawyer must first build a prima facie discrimination case, which is basically an adverse employment decision, such as refusal to hire or refusal to promote.

Next, the victim must establish membership in a protected class. This showing is not always straightforward, especially in ethnic discrimination cases. Racially mixed parents are extremely common.

Next, the employer has a chance to prove the adverse action was unrelated to race, age, disability, or other discrimination. This defense usually does not hold up in court in unequal treatment situations. For example, if Brenda and Mike have the same performance record and Mike gets promoted, Brenda might have a gender discrimination claim.

Roughly this same analysis applies to discrimination in public facilities, including schools. Disability discrimination is very common in schools and other such facilities. These facilities managers often resist access measures, like ARD meetings for autistic children and wheelchair ramps for physically disabled students, mostly for cost reasons.

Reach Out to a Dedicated Cook County Attorney

Job bias victims have legal options in Illinois. For a free consultation with an experienced Oak Park discrimination attorney, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We routinely handle matters throughout Chicagoland.