Ever since the town was a whistle-stop on the old Chicago and Northwestern in the 1800s, the city of Palatine has always been full of independent-minded people. That spirit serves townspeople well in many different forums, but an employment discrimination dispute is not one of them. Although Illinois is an at-will employment state, workers still have important rights, especially with regard to termination disputes. Unless workers partner with a tough Palatine employment discrimination attorney, an employer may run roughshod over their individual rights.
The professionals at the Law Office of Mitchell Kline are not just tough. Our Palatine employment discrimination attorneys are highly experienced in this area. We can quickly evaluate your claim. Moreover, our team is dedicated to your rights as an employee. That dedication means that we will not settle for anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act established a number of protected employment classes. Employers cannot take adverse action against these groups unless they have a compelling justification for their actions. Some of these protected classes include:
In general, Illinois courts broadly define all these categories. For example, disability could be almost any mental, physical, or emotional condition. Obesity and addiction could be disabilities in some cases. Furthermore, sexual orientation usually includes all people on the LGBTQ spectrum.
Additionally, these legal protections apply at all phases of the employment relationship. That relationship starts at the interview phase. In fact, our Palatine employment discrimination attorneys routinely handle matters involving discrimination against certain job applicants.
Finally, the law applies to both disparate treatment and disparate impact discrimination. Essentially, these terms describe direct and indirect discrimination. For example, companies that refuse to hire certain minorities are guilty of disparate treatment discrimination. A no-beard policy disproportionately affects certain ethnic and religious groups, so it could be considered disparate impact discrimination.
Substantively, victim/plaintiffs must establish discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That is the lowest standard of proof in Illinois law.
Procedurally, victim/plaintiffs must establish a solid discrimination claim. This claim usually consists of the following:
Next, the employer can show that it had a discrimination-neutral reason to treat the plaintiff the way it did. Generally, only a compelling business reason, which is narrowly defined in employment law, can justify such action.
The plaintiff usually has the last word. That last word usually means evidence that the proffered explanation was just a veil for discrimination. For example, black employees might be disciplined for infractions that were ignored when committed by white employees.
Generally, our Palatine employment discrimination attorneys settle these cases out of court. This settlement usually includes monetary damages as well as reinstatement, if applicable and practical. Furthermore, these settlements often include consent decrees. These decrees require employers to change the way they do business.
Workers have important rights in Illinois, especially with regard to employment discrimination. For a free consultation with an experienced Palatine employment discrimination attorney, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. After hours visits are available.