Employment discrimination can take many forms. An employer may refuse to hire an employee due to discriminatory practices, or an employer may treat certain employees differently based on their membership to a protected class. Sometimes, employees may even lose their jobs simply because their employer discriminates against them. When any of these or other forms of discrimination take place in the workforce, employees need a Mount Prospect employment discrimination lawyer to help make things right.
Both federal and state laws protect certain classes of employees from facing discrimination in the workplace. These classes are based on certain characteristics of the employee. Federal law protects employees from facing employment discrimination based on:
These protections are outlined in a number of federal laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
The Illinois Human Rights Act supplements the federal laws, providing further protection to employees based on their:
Illinois state law also makes it illegal for anyone to help an employer discriminate against an employee. For example, if a co-worker knows that a certain employee is part of the LGBTQ community and tells the employer, knowing the employer discriminates against these individuals, that coworker is violating state law. As such, the employee experiencing discrimination may have a claim against both the employer and the person who aided in the discrimination.
When an individual feels that he or she has been discriminated against at work or during the course of trying to obtain employment, that person has two options — file a discrimination claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
An attorney can advise on which is the appropriate agency with which to file a claim. For example, the EEOC only pertains to employers that employee 20 or more employees, while the IDHR will investigate discrimination cases when an employer has between 15 and 20 employees. Those who feel they have been discriminated against by an employer with only 15 employees will file a claim with the IDHR.
In addition, these state and federal agencies have a work-sharing agreement. This means that they each cooperate with the other when filing claims. Due to this, an employee who has been discriminated against does not need to file two separate claims. He or she simply has to indicate that the agency should cross-file the claim with the other agency.
No one should ever face discrimination, particularly when at work, or trying to get work to earn an income. When they do, employees should speak to an employment discrimination attorney in Mount Prospect who can help make it right.
If you have experienced discrimination either while trying to get a job, or during your time of employment, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We will guide you through the entire claims process to alert the authorities that your employer has violated federal or state laws. If necessary, we will also help you file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve. Call us today or fill out our online form to learn more.