Phoenix Discrimination Lawyers
How do you defeat an employer who has used unlawful discrimination to deny you a safe working environment or the fruits of your labor? Hire one of our skilled workplace discrimination attorneys at Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC. Our legal team has more than 50 years of combined experience and is not afraid to fight.
State and federal laws protect the Arizona workforce from unlawful discrimination. And anyone working in Arizona who suspects that their employer has treated them unfairly for illegal reasons can call or contact online one of our Phoenix discrimination attorneys to hold their employer to account for its misdeeds.
Employee Rights Against Discrimination
Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Arizona law forbid employers from behaving adversely against their employees because of their protected characteristics. An employer engages in illegal activity when it fires, refuses to hire, harasses, disciplines, or gives unequal employment terms to an employee or job candidate based on one of the following protected characteristics:
- National origin, or
- Sexual orientation.
Mistreatment based on one of these personal qualities can be direct or indirect, but any employee subject to its effects likely has the right to recover financial damages and other legal remedies. Below, we outline how different types of discrimination can occur in a work setting.
Your right to religious freedom is strong, and your employer must respect that. In general, a business, organization, or government agency cannot refuse to employ or deny work benefits to an individual because of their religion.
And in some cases, your employer must accommodate your religious beliefs in the workplace. If your employer refuses to make reasonable modifications to its dress code to allow for religiously required garments and grooming, or if it constantly rejects your requests for time off to observe religious holidays, it may be in violation of the law.
Race, Color, and National Origin
Your race, ancestry, and physical characteristics associated with your racial background have nothing to do with your ability to perform a job. Unfortunately, some employers still lean on their racial biases to make decisions about their workforce. This type of biased decision-making is illegal.
There are many ways an employer can break the law against workplace racial discrimination, such as:
- Unequal treatment based on an employee’s actual race,
- Mistreatment based on an employee’s perceived race,
- Disparate treatment between employees who are of the same race but different skin tones, and
- Unfair treatment based on an employee’s association with individuals of a particular race.
If your employer treats you in negative ways that are unwarranted, you should pay close attention not only to what your employer says to and about you but also how your employer treats employees who look different from you. You can present what you observe to one of our skilled Phoenix discrimination lawyers to determine whether you have a strong case against your employer.
Depending on how old you are, your age cannot be a factor when your boss decides whether to continue your employment or give you benefits at work. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination in the workplace against workers who are 40 or older.
If you are at least 40 and your employer harasses you because of your age or favors younger employees over you, you likely have the right to take legal action. Employers that have seemingly neutral policies that disproportionately affect the members of their workforce who are 40 or older might be in violation of the law. And your employer can even be liable under the ADEA when the discrimination comes from a supervisor who is over 40 against an employee who is over 40.
Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
Sex-based discrimination can come out in multiple ways, including discrimination based on the following:
- Sexual orientation,
- Gender expression,
- Sex-related medical conditions, and
Unequal pay; exclusion from professional opportunities; and offensive comments, conduct, or jokes referring to sex-related characteristics of you or others can all be legal violations. Some sex-based discrimination rises to the level of unlawful sexual harassment, and it does not matter whether the harasser is motivated by sexual desire or not.
Employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to equal enjoyment of employment opportunities. If you are qualified for a job, your employer or potential employer cannot deny you employment or benefits because of your disability. And if your disability prevents you from performing the non-essential duties of your job, your employer must provide you with reasonable accommodations to help you. Employers must also reasonably accommodate job applicants with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation can include flexible scheduling, assistive devices, and job restructuring.
Filing a Discrimination Claim
If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, there are several ways you can take legal action against your employer. You can do the following:
- File a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),
- File a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General,
- File a complaint with the city of Phoenix, or
- File a lawsuit in civil court.
In a successful legal action, you can receive payment for your financial losses, compensation for your emotional distress, punitive damages, legal costs, and non-monetary relief. Employment discrimination cases are challenging, so you should speak to one of our respected work discrimination attorneys about your case to help ensure you receive the maximum compensation for what you have suffered.
Contact Our Phoenix Discrimination Attorneys
Workplace discrimination is a significant problem in this nation. And our workplace discrimination lawyers at Shields Petitti & Zoldan are problem solvers. We know how to get results, and we have recovered more than $20 million on behalf of mistreated employees in Arizona. There is no challenge too big or too small for us to take on, so we hope you contact us about any dispute you are facing in your workplace. You can reach out to us online or call us to schedule a consultation.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing an Employment Discrimination Complaint?
Yes. You have 180 days to file a state or federal complaint. However, you can have up to 300 days to file an EEOC complaint if your dispute is covered under state law as well.
How Do I Prove Workplace Discrimination?
You can prove discrimination through direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence can include comments your employer makes about one of your protected characteristics before subjecting you to unwarranted discipline or mistreatment. And indirect evidence can include examples of how similarly situated employees in your workplace receive better treatment than employees of a different race, sex, religion, etc. Employer correspondence, witness testimony, and employment records can be helpful evidence in these cases.
Are All Employers Subject to Anti-Discrimination Laws?
No. In general, only employers with 15 or more employees are subject to most discrimination laws. And only employers with 20 or more employees can be liable under the ADEA.
Our employment lawyers are also able to assist you with the following cases:
- Arbitration and Mediation
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Business Contract
- Business Litigation
- Constructive Discharge
- Employee Advocacy
- Employer Counseling
- Employment Litigation
- Medical & Disability Leave
- Sexual Harassment
- Small Business Consulting
- Wage and Hour Violation
- Wrongful Termination