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Every employer has to follow the law. There are federal laws governed by organizations such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that guarantee certain worker rights. There are state laws as well. Employers are required to post information about several laws, such as information from the EEOC, your rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), federal minimum wage, whistleblower rights, safety information, and insurance information.
Every state is required to post anti-discrimination policies. You cannot be discriminated against because of your race, age, disability, genetics, color, religion, sex, or national origin. You cannot be discriminated against if you’re pregnant, because of your sexual orientation, or because of your sexual identity. You cannot be discriminated against if you report discrimination or if you decide to seek legal assistance because of discrimination.
The law is pretty clear on these facts, yet discrimination in the workplace still occurs quite often. According to the EEOC, there were 76,418 total charges of discrimination filed in 2018. So, not only is the law pretty clear, but the fact that discrimination is still occurring is quite obvious. While the laws are in place to protect people from being discriminated against, there is no shortage of discrimination occurring throughout the country.
This is why it is so important to retain a lawyer if you are the victim of workplace discrimination. While you may be competent at your job, bosses know how to get around the discrimination laws by finding other ways to fire you. They can come up with all manner of reasons to let you go, and if you don’t understand how to navigate the legal landscape, you will not know what to do in your particular situation. Employment evaluations are very important. Whether positive or negative, they are proof of how you are perceived as a worker at your job. Documentation of your particular experiences is also important evidence, as it can show trends in how you are treated as an employee and as a person at your job.
Attorneys have experience that you don’t have. They can look at your evaluations, your work experience, and your documentation to see whether or not you’re being discriminated against. If you think you are being discriminated against, talking with an attorney will give you a much clearer picture of what is going on. Chances are, the attorney has seen similar situations and will be able to look at your evidence to determine whether or not you are the victim of discrimination. While the law may be clear on the facts concerning discrimination, what discrimination looks like can be different in every instance. Evidence of discrimination can also be murky, and a good attorney will know exactly what to look for to determine if you are being discriminated against even if your boss is attempting to cover up discrimination with other reasons.
The bottom line is that the law is vast, deep, and wide. It can be difficult to understand for a layperson. You may think you know how to proceed in a discrimination case, but without an attorney, there is a lot of room for error. If you find yourself to be the victim of discrimination, rather than going it alone, find a competent attorney who has experience fighting for workers’ rights.