This Chicagoland suburb is largely built on the service and retail industries. The Woodfield Mall, which opened in 1971, effectively transformed Hoffman Estates from a bedroom community built around the Northwest Tollway into a thriving commercial and business center in its own right. The service and hospitality industries are rather notorious for discriminatory hiring practices. For example, most restaurants feature almost all-female waitstaff and almost all-male kitchen staff.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is supposed to take action on behalf of job discrimination victims. If that does not happen, these victims can rely on a Hoffman Estate employment discrimination lawyer like Mitchell Kline. We understand how much the sting of discrimination hurts area families, so we take immediate action for these victims. After we quickly evaluate their claims, we stand up for them in court and during settlement negotiations.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act established a number of protected employment classes. These classes include:
Courts have changed these classifications over the years. For example, in 2020, the Supreme Court broadened the sexual orientation category to include most persons on the LGBTQ spectrum.
The law also protects certain activities. This list includes forming a union, reporting alleged wrongdoing in the workplace, participating in some pre-union activities, such as speaking with workers about their rights, and, in some cases, political activity.
Subsequent laws, such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act expanded these protections even further.
As a result, most Hoffman Estates workers fall into at least one protected class, and most job duties contain at least one protected activity. So, if you experienced adverse action at work, such as a refusal to hire or a demotion, you might have an employment discrimination claim.
One of the reasons it is rather easy to prove discrimination is that malice is usually not an element of these claims.
Disparate treatment is treating different people differently simply because of their membership in a protected class. Some employers think they are doing the right thing. Moving a pregnant employee off an assembly line is a good example. But such actions are discriminatory, despite any good intentions the employer might have had.
Disparate impact is a policy which disproportionately affects certain groups. Many service industry jobs require mandatory Saturdays. Such a policy is not directly targeted at certain religious groups, but since it disproportionately affects them, it is legally discriminatory.
Procedurally, a plaintiff must establish a prima facie case, which is membership in a protected class or participation in a protected activity and adverse action. Then, the employer has the burden of proof, and the burden of persuasion, to show a discrimination-neutral reason for the action.
Compensation in an employment discrimination case usually includes job reinstatement or a reasonable amount of front pay, along with money for other economic losses. Perhaps more importantly, legal actions force employers to change the way they do business and respect all their employees.
Today’s employment discrimination laws protect most workers in Illinois. For a free consultation with an experienced Hoffman Estates workplace discrimination lawyer, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. Virtual, after-hours, and home visits are available.