In a perfect world, everyone would love their jobs, and the workplace would always be an environment where employees are built up, supported, and treated fairly.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, and workplace discrimination does happen, often in violation of federal law. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stand for it. Virginia employment lawyers exist to protect your rights and help you achieve resolutions if you’ve been wronged.
Why Do People Need Employment Discrimination Lawyers?
Employment law is complicated, which means there are many reasons a person may need legal representation. Discrimination doesn’t only happen to people who are already on a company’s payroll. It can also happen to job seekers who are applying and interviewing for open positions.
Employment discrimination happens when a current or prospective employee is treated less favorably than others because of specific characteristics. These characteristics make up what the law calls “protected classes,” and they include the following:
- National origin
- Disability (with protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act)
- Age (40 and older)
- Citizenship status
- Genetic information
With this in mind, here are a few examples to demonstrate the ways protected classes work in the employment environment:
- Religion. A company cannot refuse to hire an otherwise qualified candidate because of his or her religious beliefs.
- Age. A company cannot force someone to retire because they’re over the age of 40. This is age discrimination.
- Color. A company cannot fire an employee who is performing their job because of their skin color.
If you suspect you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace, it’s best to contact an employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible. Unfair treatment takes many forms such as sexual harassment or wrongful termination. Local employment law groups specialize in practice areas that concern Virginia employment law and civil rights.
How Do You Prove Employment Discrimination?
The longer you wait to file a complaint, the harder it will be to prove your case. Your first step will be to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Your attorney will help you navigate this process and compile the necessary information that reinforces proof of:
- Motive. Motive can be particularly challenging to prove in at-will states; your lawyer will help you uncover potential evidence based on your unique situation.
- Inequality. If you’re treated differently from your colleagues, that’s inequality. Demonstrable examples will help strengthen your case. Be sure to note times, dates, and specific instances if you feel you’re experiencing inequality in the workplace.
Are you searching or for an employment discrimination attorney near Arlington, Virginia and Fairfax County? The law firm of HKM Employment Attorneys LLP is here to help. We have locations in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Contact us for a consultation and find out if our legal services are right for your employment issues.