Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It generally applies to public and private employers with 15 or more employees.
See also: Employment Discrimination
Title VII forbids discrimination in any aspect of employment, including:
If you believe you have a Title VII claim, you have the right to file a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency charged with enforcing many anti-discrimination laws. In most cases you have 180 days from the date of the discriminatory activity to file an EEOC discrimination charge in order to preserve your rights.
When a charge is filed against an employer, the EEOC will notify the employer within 10 days. A charge does not constitute a finding that the employer engaged in discrimination, and the EEOC has authority to investigate whether there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred.
Once the investigator has completed the investigation, EEOC will make a determination on the merits of the charge.
If you decide to file a federal lawsuit, the potential remedies available to you may include:
In general, monetary damages in discrimination cases take two forms: compensatory damages (i.e., an award intended to compensate you for your monetary losses and, in some cases, mental anguish and inconvenience) and, in less frequent cases, punitive damages (i.e., an award to “punish” the employer in cases where the discrimination was intentional or committed with malice or reckless indifference).
Remedies also may include payment of attorneys' fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.
No employer may deny or impede an employee’s right to the procedural safeguards contained in federal law or the U.S. Constitution. Title VII forbids employers from retaliating against you for filing a charge of discrimination or speaking out against discrimination. It also protects you from retaliation if you choose to participate in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing on behalf of a co-worker who you believe has had his or her rights violated under Title VII.
Do You Have a Case?
If we determine there is merit to your case, we will assist you in taking immediate action. We can determine the specific claim and stand ready to assist you in filing charges of unlawful discrimination with the EEOC or other appropriate agency.
Cases and Investigations
Read about some of our current and recent Civil Rights cases.
Martin & Bonnett employment law attorneys have handled a variety of civil rights claims based in Title VII or in Constitutional protections, including First Amendment retaliation claims, Fourteenth Amendment due process claims, and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claims.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects an employee’s freedoms of speech, association and religion. An employer may not discriminate or retaliate against an employee because of his or her religious beliefs or public opinions.
In addition, the Equal Protection Clause contained in the Fourteenth Amendment may also protect certain groups from discrimination in the workplace by barring employers from treating an employee differently based upon his or her race, gender, national origin, religion or sexual preference.