How to Know if You Were a Victim of Discrimination in the Workplace in NC
Discrimination should not be tolerated anywhere – including at work. But it happens. Every day, employees are treated differently because of the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, their gender, where they come from, and other reasons. It’s not right, and it’s not legal.
Employment discrimination can affect both employees and job applicants. If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace, we encourage you to talk to a discrimination lawyer in NC.
When you are fighting to protect your rights, experience matters. The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin played a lead role in one of the largest civil rights anti-discrimination cases in U.S. history. Our founder, James S. Farrin, played a pivotal role in helping to obtain a $1.25 billion settlement1 for Black farmers who had suffered many years of discrimination by the USDA. Our firm has a history of fighting for the rights of people who have been treated unfairly, and we may be able to help you, too.
Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation if you feel that your employer has discriminated against you.
What Employment Discrimination Laws and Agencies Protect North Carolina Residents?
Many laws were created to protect workers from discrimination on the job in North Carolina. These laws prohibit bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation practices. And there are also laws that aim to prevent retaliation against employees who report discriminatory practices.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal employment discrimination laws, as well as for providing outreach, education, and technical assistance programs to prevent this type of discrimination.
The EEOC has the authority to:
- Investigate charges of discrimination against private sector and federal employers
- Mediate and settle discrimination charges
- File a lawsuit and litigate discrimination charges
Read on to learn about some of the major laws that protect employees from various types of workplace discrimination. Our experienced employment law team knows U.S. and North Carolina employment discrimination laws and will fight to protect your rights as an employee if you feel you have been discriminated against at work.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act Prohibits Employment Discrimination
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) is a federal law that protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and sex (including pregnancy, gender identification, and sexual orientation).
This law covers a wide range of decisions and actions concerning the terms and conditions of employment, including:
- Job evaluation
- Disciplinary action
If you feel that your employer has shown prejudice or acted unfairly toward you in any of these behaviors, you can file a complaint under Title VII with the EEOC.
Have You Been Discriminated Against Because of Your Age?
Title VII does not include discrimination based on age, but the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does. The ADEA is a federal law that protects qualifying employees and job applicants who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination on the basis of age.
The following are possible examples of behavior that may be discriminatory or could lead to this type of unfair bias:
- Does your manager frequently make age-related insults or call you “pops” or “old-timer” in front others?
- Are all the new hires of younger people and all the layoffs of older workers?
- Are you frequently overlooked for assignments that you are fully qualified for which are then given to younger workers instead?
- Does your company have a mandatory retirement age?
- Has your manager said that the company needed a younger-looking person to do your job?
These are just a few of the unfair age-related situations that can occur at work. The ADEA covers all aspects of employment from hiring, training, assignments, and firing to training, pay, and benefits.
Have You Been Discriminated Against Because of Your Gender?
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) is an employment law that protects men and women from sex-based wage discrimination in the payment of wages or benefits for people who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment. Simply put, the EPA requires equal pay for equal work.
To submit a claim, you must show that you and another employee of the opposite sex are:
- Working for the same employer
- Doing the same work
- Receiving unequal pay
In addition to wages, the EPA takes into account benefits such as health insurance coverage and retirement plans (as well as other types of compensation, such as vacation time and bonuses) when determining equal pay.
If you need help protecting your employment rights, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Have You Been Discriminated Against Because of Your Disability?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified people with mental or physical disabilities in job application, hiring, firing, promotion, pay, and training decisions. The EEOC and Department of Justice (DOJ) both enforce the ADA, but claimants should file directly with the EEOC.
Examples of potential disability discrimination include:
- Asking for medical information or requiring an applicant to take a medical exam during the job application process
- Not providing reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities to allow them to perform their duties
- Maintaining a workplace with physical barriers that inhibit movement for people with physical disabilities
Have You Been Discriminated Against Because of a Pregnancy?
The news that an employee is expecting a child can sometimes prejudice an employer against that person. However, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amends Title VII to prohibit sex discrimination at work on the basis of pregnancy.
If you can answer yes to the following questions, your employer may be treating you unfairly and violating the PDA:
- Did your employer fire, demote, or force you to take leave after you announced your pregnancy?
- Did your employer refuse to give you the same or a similar job when you returned from leave?
- Were you provided reasonable accommodations for any pregnancy-related impairments?
- Did your employer force you to take a shorter leave than what other employees were allowed for medical or short-term disability leave?
- Did your employer fire or demote you after you requested time to pump after the birth of a child?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, we urge you to discuss your case with a discrimination attorney in North Carolina.
North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act
The North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act (EEPA) and other state statutes make it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, HIV/AIDS results for current employees, or disability.
This law seeks to protect and safeguard the right of North Carolinians to seek, obtain, and hold employment without facing discrimination. The NC EEPA is enforced through the Civil Rights Division of the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings.
How Do I File a Civil Claim for Workplace Discrimination in NC?
While the EEOC is the major organization that handles employment discrimination, state or county government employees with complaints of this type can file with the Employment Discrimination Section of the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, Civil Rights Division (OAH/CRD), which is a deferral agency for the EEOC (also referred to as a “Fair Employment Practices Agency”).
The EEOC and the OAH/CRD work together to “dually file” discrimination charges where appropriate to ensure that both the state and federal rights of employees are protected.
If you want to file a discrimination claim with the EEOC in North Carolina, follow these steps:
- Contact your closest EEOC office in person, by mail, or by phone for an interview.
Note: If you are a state or county employee, the EEOC may work in conjunction with the state OAH/CRD.
- File a charge of employment discrimination within 180 days of alleged discriminatory practice.
You can do this through the EEOC Public Portal after the interview.
If the EEOC decides to investigate your charge, it may interview witnesses and gather documentation. After investigation, the EEOC will contact you and your employer.
The possible next steps include:
- The EEOC decides it cannot do anything more with its limited resources to pursue your case and sends you a “Notice of Right to Sue” which gives you permission to file a lawsuit in a federal court of law.
- The EEOC decides that discrimination did occur and attempts to mediate and reach a voluntary settlement between you and your employer.
Note: If a settlement cannot be reached, the EEOC legal staff will decide to file a lawsuit or give you a “Notice of Right to Sue.”
- The EEOC decides to conduct a lengthy investigation, sometimes taking several months or years. In this case, you may choose to demand a “Right to Sue” letter after 180 days from the day the investigation began.
- After you receive a “Right to Sue” letter, you have 90 days to file a suit in state or federal court or you may lose your right to sue entirely.
Proving discrimination in the workplace is difficult. We encourage you to seek the advice of an attorney with a wealth of knowledge in NC employment discrimination laws.
Do I Need an Employment Discrimination Lawyer in NC?
We advise you to enlist the help of an employment attorney if you feel that you are being discriminated against at work in North Carolina. Fighting this battle alone can be overwhelming. Arm yourself with the experience, advice, and knowledge of an attorney who deals with workplace discrimination on a daily basis.
How Do I Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin?
Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to discuss your work discrimination case or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Noël Harlow is the firm’s lead NC discrimination attorney, and she has years of experience in employment law, as well as a passion for protecting the rights of everyday people who are trying to make an honest living against employers who may be trying to take advantage of them.
If you are worried whether you can afford an attorney, you can relax. We realize many people do not have the funds to retain a lawyer at the start of a case, so there are no up-front costs or hourly fees to worry about at our firm. Instead, we collect our attorney’s fee as a percentage of the total amount if we recover for you.2
The bottom line is this: Nobody should have to endure discrimination at the workplace. We will fight to protect this right for you.Text Us