Atlanta Employment Discrimination Attorney
Discrimination of any kind is never acceptable, especially in the workplace. It’s stressful enough for most people to work full time and make ends meet without having to worry about being subjected to this type of behavior while at work. It’s absolutely unacceptable, and at Williams Oinonen LLC, we’ve made it one of our missions to ensure that your employer doesn’t get away with illegally discriminating against you or anyone else. Contact an Atlanta employment discrimination attorney today for a consultation by filling out our online form or calling (404) 654-0288.
Types of Discrimination
There are many different laws and statutes that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. Employers are not permitted to discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability status, pregnancy, and more. Some of the most common anti-discrimination laws and statutes include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In addition to these federal anti-discrimination laws, Georgia has its own local laws prohibiting discrimination based on the above characteristics.
For many people, sexual harassment is one of the most frightening types of discrimination a person can face. While there aren’t any specific laws or statutes in Georgia that prohibit sexual harassment, it is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment. All private employers with at least 15 employees must comply with the Civil Rights Act.
Proving Sexual Harassment in Court
In order to be successful in a sexual harassment claim in court, you must be able to prove the following elements:
1. You were subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment
You must be able to show that the conduct was not welcome or solicited. This can often be demonstrated by providing evidence of complaints that were made or providing witness statements corroborating that you asked the offender to stop and they didn’t.
2. The harassment was based on sex or gender
You must be able to show that the conduct would not have occurred but for your sex or gender.
3. The harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive and created a hostile work environment, or you suffered an adverse employment action because you refused to submit to sexual demands (quid pro quo).
In order to prove a hostile work environment claim, you’ll have to show that the conduct was severe or pervasive and that it altered the conditions of employment. Courts look at the frequency, severity, and whether the harassing behavior is physically threatening or only verbally threatening and unwarranted. To offer proof of this, you may be able to provide emails or text messages as well as eyewitness accounts.
To prove quid pro quo, you must be able to offer evidence of a tangible employment action taken as a result of your refusal to submit to the sexual demand. For example, if you were fired, demoted, reassigned, or some other action was taken against you, this can be used as evidence of quid pro quo sexual harassment.
4. There is a legal basis to hold your employer liable
Finally, there has to be a legal basis to hold your employer liable for the harassment. If a supervisor is the person who has been harassing you, showing that your employer is legally responsible will be pretty simple. It can be more difficult if it’s a coworker or someone who doesn’t have authority over you in the workplace. This is because a coworker probably can’t take any tangible employment actions against you. An employer could avoid liability if they’re able to show that they exercised reasonable care to prevent the behavior and that they promptly addressed and rectified the harassing behavior.
Statute of Limitations
In Georgia, you generally have 180 days from the date of the discrimination to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity (GCEO). This can change depending on how many workers your employer has and what type of job you’re employed in. Additionally, there are other deadlines that must be met if you decide to file a lawsuit in civil court as well, so it’s always important to contact an experienced attorney regarding deadlines.
Consult With an Attorney Before Filing With the EEOC or GCEO
While it’s not required to hire an attorney before you file a charge with the EEOC or GCEO for a discrimination claim, it’s a good idea to speak with one before you take any action. There are very strict timelines and rules for when and how you have to file your claims. Hiring a lawyer will ensure that you don’t miss out on what you’re otherwise legally entitled to. Once you file a charge with the EEOC or the GCEO, they may investigate or mediate your case, or they might issue you a Right To Sue notice. This notice gives you the ability to file a lawsuit in civil court. Generally, they have 180 days to resolve your charge, though they might be willing to issue the Right To Sue notice before the 180 days have elapsed.
In most cases, you must request and receive this notice before you’re able to file a lawsuit in court. However, if you wish to file a claim based on a violation of equal pay, you can file right away in federal court without waiting for a Right To Sue notice. Additionally, if you wish to file a claim based on age discrimination, you also don’t need a Right To Sue notice. Once you file a charge with the EEOC based on age discrimination, you simply have to wait 60 days, and then you can file your lawsuit.
Get Experienced Legal Help From an Atlanta Employment Discrimination Attorney
Whether you’re being discriminated against on the basis of age, race, sex, or another legally protected characteristic, it’s never acceptable. The attorneys at Williams Oinonen LLC have dedicated their lives to holding employers responsible for workplace harassment and discrimination. We will do everything in our power to ensure that the situation is handled appropriately and you receive everything you’re entitled to, which includes a safe workplace and monetary compensation if the situation warrants it. You’ll need an experienced Atlanta employment discrimination attorney to determine that. Contact an attorney today for a consultation by filling out our online form or calling (404) 654-0288.