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Discrimination

Employment Discrimination and Retaliation Attorneys

If you have been fired, demoted, passed over for promotion, or were not hired because of your race, gender, age, disability, religion, ethnicity or national origin, you are a victim of discrimination.

Read about some of our Employment Discrimination cases.

The attorneys at Martin & Bonnett provide high-quality and dynamic legal representation and innovative strategies on behalf of clients who are victims of unlawful employment practices, including discrimination and hostile work environments.

You have a right to work free of discrimination. Both private and public employees are still victimized based on their race, gender, age, disability, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or genetic background. Some employees who complain about discrimination suffer unlawful retaliation by their employers.

Although important laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, have reduced the prevalence of employment discrimination, private and public employees still experience discrimination, and some employees who complain about discrimination suffer unlawful retaliation by their employers.

The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Discrimination Based on Race, National Origin or Religion

Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color. Discrimination can occur even when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color.

National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background. National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin. As with race discrimination, discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same national origin.

Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion.

It is illegal to harass a person because of his or her religion. Harassment can include, for example, offensive remarks about a person's religious beliefs or practices. Although the law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated, non-serious incidents, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in the victim being fired or demoted.

Pregnancy, Gender, Same-Sex and Gender Identity Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.

Also, it is unlawful to harass a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in the victim being fired or demoted.

Gender and same-sex discrimination and harassment involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person's gender. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Further, it is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's sex. Harassment can include "sexual harassment" or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's sex.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Gender identity discrimination, including transgender status or because of sexual orientation, is prohibited under Title VII’s provisions regarding sex discrimination. (The EEOC offers more information about LGBT-related sex discrimination claims.)

Individuals with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires employers to engage in an interactive process to determine appropriate accommodations so that a disabled employee can work. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of age.

The ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. Employers cannot discriminate against individuals in job application procedures, hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, training, or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. A qualified employee with a disability is an individual who can perform the essential functions or responsibilities of the job, with or without a reasonable accommodation. Employers may be required to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with a disability as long as the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship that requires significant difficulty or financial expense.

Updates to the ADA. The ADAAA became effective on January 1, 2009. This Act expanded the definition of “disability” and made it easier for individuals seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA. A disability may include any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including:

  • seeing or hearing
  • eating or sleeping
  • standing or walking
  • reaching, bending or lifting
  • speaking
  • breathing
  • learning
  • thinking and concentrating
  • communicating and interacting with others
  • working or performing manual tasks
  • caring for oneself

The ADA and ADAAA also protect individuals that have a record of a disability in the past or individuals that the employer believed to have a disability.

Our disabled workers' rights attorneys represent people who are disabled and seeking employment. We are passionate about the rights of disabled people, knowing that these workers have much to contribute to businesses in America. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and hold employers accountable if they discriminate against you.

Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

Harassment at the workplace goes beyond cruel treatment by a boss. Employers who allow pervasive or serious acts that create hostile work environments, or allow harassment or discriminatory treatment or actions that alter the terms and conditions of your employment, need to be held accountable. We have experience in successfully handling sexual harassment litigation.

If you have taken a job you love in an environment that you did not bargain for, you need representation by an attorney. Merely tolerating the work setting and delaying taking action are not options. You need to understand that there are laws and policies that protect you against sexual harassment and hostile work environments.

Internal remedies are at your disposal. Speaking to management and filing a complaint are vital first steps. We have counseled our clients on the internal process of handling claims of sexual harassment. If management fails to respond to any form of harassment, retaliation or discrimination, we help you in filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

At our firm, we are equipped to handle class action claims of sexual harassment that started with an individual complaint. Many times, a victim of sexual harassment is not the only employee experiencing that type of hostility. Our experience and knowledge allow us to handle complex sexual harassment cases, including class action litigation. We are dedicated to protecting our clients and their rights, whether the case involves one employee or multiple staff members.

Retaliation

If you were fired, forced to resign, or demoted, or if you suffered any other kind of adverse action because of a complaint you made at work, you may be a victim of unlawful retaliation.

Several federal and state laws protect employees against retaliation. Our attorneys represent people who were retaliated against for reporting:

  • discrimination or harassment,
  • failure to pay required wages or overtime,
  • safety violations, and
  • illegal activity in the workplace.

Retaliation may include termination or any other negative action against you or a family member in response to your complaint, such as a demotion or negative job reassignment.

Even if you make a claim of unlawful discrimination, unpaid wages, or other unlawful practices and those claims are discovered to be not unlawful, you may still have a claim for retaliation if your employer retaliates against you for making a good faith claim. Even if you do not make a written complaint or grievance, you may be unlawfully retaliated against for making a verbal report or complaint.

These laws also protect you for providing evidence or testimony in support a co-worker’s claim of discrimination, harassment, unpaid wages, safety violations, or other illegal activity in the workplace.

Read about some of our Employment Discrimination cases.

Employees Only

Employers who violate their employees' rights need to be held accountable.

Unlike many employment lawyers who are willing to represent either side in an employment dispute, we exclusively represent employees.

Cases and Investigations

Read about some of our current and recent Employment Discrimination cases.

Do You Have a Case?

Many employees may be unaware that they have a claim or do not know how to pursue a claim. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to determine whether you have a claim and what your legal options are.

We Can Help. At Martin & Bonnett PLLC, we diligently defend the rights of our clients and hold employers accountable for unlawful employment practices. We can explain the types of discrimination, such as hostile work environment and quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Our extensive background gives us insight into analyzing your case to determine your rights and whether remedies are available without having to file a lawsuit. If that option is not available, we will discuss with you the possibility of filing a lawsuit against your employer.

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.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys regarding an FLSA overtime dispute or a wage and hour claim, contact us at 602-240-6900 or 800-952-4750, or use our convenient, confidential Contact Form.

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Frequently Asked Questions about employment discrimination and retaliation


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