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Martin & Bonnett, Phoenix Employment Lawyers
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Civil Rights

Civil Rights Attorneys in Employment Law

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides employees with protection from discrimination. Our attorneys can help enforce those protections.

Read about some of our Civil Rights cases.

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:

  • hiring and firing
  • compensation, assignment, or classification of employees
  • transfer, promotion, layoff or recall
  • job advertisements
  • recruitment
  • testing
  • use of company facilities
  • training and apprenticeship programs
  • fringe benefits
  • pay, retirement plans, and disability leave
  • other terms and conditions of employment

Filing an EEOC Claim

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 the EEOC does not find reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred, you will be issued a notice called a Dismissal and Notice of Rights. This notice informs you that you have the right to file a lawsuit in federal court within 90 days from the date you receive the notice. The employer will also receive a copy of this notice.
  • If the EEOC determines that there is reasonable cause to believe discrimination has occurred, both parties will be issued a Letter of Determination and invite the parties to join the agency in seeking to resolve the charge through an informal process known as conciliation.
  • When conciliation does not succeed in resolving the charge, the EEOC has the authority to enforce violations of its statutes by filing a lawsuit in federal court. If the EEOC decides not to litigate, you will receive a Notice of Right to Sue, and you may file a lawsuit in federal court within 90 days.

Federal Lawsuit

If you decide to file a federal lawsuit, the potential remedies available to you may include:

  • back pay (i.e., the pay you would have received up to that point had the discrimination not occurred);
  • the job or promotion that was denied to you;
  • reinstatement;
  • front pay (i.e., if reinstatement is not an option, future pay you would have received);
  • reasonable accommodation; or
  • other actions that would make you "whole" (i.e., in the condition you would have been but for the discrimination).

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.

Read about some of our Civil Rights 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, contact us at 602-240-6900 or 800-952-4750, or use our convenient, confidential Contact Form.

Cases and Investigations

Read about some of our current and recent Civil Rights cases.

Experienced Civil Rights Attorneys

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.


Frequently Asked Questions about Employment Discrimination and Retaliation

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