Workplace Discrimination and Termination – When is it Retaliation?

An Washington DC Wrongful Termination Attorney can help recover your sense of justice

Workplace Discrimination and TerminationWhen someone experiences discrimination in the workplace, it is a violation of state and federal labor laws. Discrimination can be based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, military affiliation, political affiliation, and so much more.

In almost every case of workplace discrimination, it is highly advisable to talk to an experienced attorney. If this discrimination leads to termination from their job, the employee has even more of a legal case against their employer.

In 2015, there were just under 90,000 workplace discrimination cases filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In the state of Maryland alone, there were 2,349 cases of discrimination across all sectors.

Out of the nationwide discrimination claims, retaliation made up 45 percent of all charges with close to 40,000 cases, topping the list of reasons for filing a discrimination charge.

The breakdown of discrimination claims across the U.S. in 2015 looks like this:

  • Retaliation: 39,757 (44.5%)
  • Race: 31,027 (34.7%)
  • Disability: 26,968 (30.2%)
  • Sex: 26,396 (29.5%)
  • Age: 20,144 (22.5%)
  • National Origin: 9,438 (10.6%)
  • Religion: 3,502 (3.9%)
  • Color: 2,833 (3.2%)
  • Equal Pay Act: 973 (1.1%)
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 257 (0.3%)

So what is a discrimination charge based on retaliation and how is related to wrongful termination?

Retaliation is when an employer takes any negative action against you – being demoted, transferred to an undesirable role, being excluded from meetings or other business activities, getting an unjustifiably bad performance review, or even being fired – for no legitimate reason other than some discriminatory cause.

Retaliation can also take place if any employer is punishing you for taking some action against them, for example filing a complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about unsafe working conditions. In the worst case scenario, retaliation ends in wrongful termination, but it can take any number of forms beyond those mentioned.

If you are experiencing any type of discrimination while still at your job, one of the first things that you are advised to do is speak with the company’s human resources department.

By presenting the facts of your situation, as well as your concerns, you are giving your employer the chance to offer a reasonable, lawful explanation for their actions. If they cannot provide a suitable response or if their reasoning is nonsensical, it is time for further action.

At this point, you should very seriously consider speaking with an attorney if you haven’t already. You can also file your complaint with the EEOC or your respective state’s Office of Fair Practices.

While these governmental agencies are in place to protect employees, even a full EEOC investigation of some discrimination cases can’t compare to the individualized diligence of a good lawyer.

For those cases in which discrimination has led to termination, it is important to speak to an employment attorney right away. This is a serious violation of labor law that has caused you immediate harm by taking away your income.

Most importantly, by talking with a lawyer you can be sure whether or not you have a completely valid case against your employer. If you do, the sooner the legal process can begin, the sooner you and your family may receive compensation for damages including your most wages.

In both instances, whether you are still in your position or have been terminated, you should compile any and all evidence of the discriminatory behavior. This can include gathering documentation and asking co-workers or other parties to offer witness statements.

Federal and state laws also protect these witnesses from any adverse action when the employer discovers a case is being built against them. Again, your attorney will be able to help guide you through this and formulate the strongest possible case.

The same EEOC report showed that 2015’s nationwide discrimination cases led to $525 million in payouts for the victims. This includes money recovered through settlements and money awarded after trial.

Employer discrimination and wrongful termination cases are usually settled out of court for anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, depending on the facts of the case.

While lost wages and lost benefits are easily calculated, it is best left to an attorney to fight for damages due to what discrimination and wrongful termination does to one’s well being.

Speak to a Washington DC Wrongful Termination Lawyer Today

For over 20 years, Fitzpatrick & Associates has been representing victims of all types of workplace discrimination and wrongful termination. Attorney Christopher M. Fitzpatrick has recovered millions for people who found themselves in the very same position as you.

If you have any suspicion of discrimination or wrongful termination at your job, talk to the legal team at Fitzpatrick & Associates.

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