Employment Discrimination/Retaliation

Throughout its existence, Harrison Law Offices has represented clients in State and Federal cases alleging unlawful employment discrimination.

Intentional unlawful employment discrimination occurs when an employer makes an employment decision affecting an employee (or applicant) based upon the employee’s inclusion in a protected classification.  Unlawful discrimination can also occur when an employer implements an employment policy that has a discriminatory impact on an employee or group of employees that are in protected classifications.

Classifications that are protected by law include:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Color
  • Marital Status
  • Union Status
  • Genetic Information

Unlawful employment discrimination also includes acts of retaliation taken against an employee because the employee reported unlawful discrimination, or because the employee assisted in an investigation into allegations of unlawful discrimination, or because the employee testified in a proceeding concerning unlawful employment discrimination.

Prior to filing a lawsuit for unlawful employment discrimination or retaliation, an employee must first file a “Charge of Discrimination” with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or with both.  Once the administrative agency has concluded its investigation an employee can obtain a “right to sue” authorization from the administrative agency and then proceed to a lawsuit.  There are strict (and very short) time limitation deadlines for an employee to file a charge of discrimination.  So if you believe you have been the victim of unlawful employment discrimination you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible after the event giving rise to the charge of discrimination.  There are also strict (and very short) time limitation deadlines for an employee to file a lawsuit after having received a right to sue authorization.  So if you have received a right to sue from the Department of Human Rights or the EEOC, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible before the right to sue expires.

Employees who experience unlawful employment discrimination can recover “make whole relief” which is intended to put the employee into the position that the employee would have been had the unlawful discrimination not occurred.  An award of damages can include lost wages, lost overtime wages, lost promotions, lost seniority, other compensatory damages and punitive damages.  A successful employment discrimination plaintiff can also recover from the defendant the plaintiff’s reasonable attorney fees and the costs incurred in the litigation.

If you believe you have been the victim of unlawful employment discrimination or unlawful retaliation, contact Harrison Law Offices; we can assist you with your claim in the investigating administrative agency and/or in court upon receipt of a right to sue.

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