Employers are required by law to provide a workplace free of discrimination and retaliation.
Discrimination, and what often follows—retaliation, are difficult to prove without the help of an experienced lawyer.
The core of a discrimination case is “different” treatment – that you are treated differently from others because you are in a “protected category.” If you feel that you are being treated differently because of your age, national origin, sex, race, sexual preference, gender identification, or a disability, you may have a case. If your employer has taken some action against you (termination, demotion, loss of duties or responsibility, or transfer), you may have a case if the reason motivating that action is one of the above categories.
The workplace discrimination lawyers at The Buenker Law Firm can determine whether you have been discriminated against and pursue legal action. Contact our Houston, TX, firm to learn more about how we can help.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination may not always be obvious – rarely does an employer or a supervisor openly state that they are taking an action because of someone’s gender, race, etc. Discrimination is sometimes apparent by looking at who gets promoted or who gets raises.
Sometimes discriminatory conduct begins to occur after a change in “regime” – when a new manager is hired or promoted, when a company or division of a company is sold and the like. The new person in charge may have a different attitude toward people of a particular protected category.
Sometimes discriminatory conduct begins after a social or political change in the country or the world; new attitudes toward certain ethnic, religious, or other groups may cause discriminatory conduct to occur when, in the past, it did not.
Frequently, discriminatory conduct can be masked by an employer’s policies, procedures, or actions that on the surface appear to be neutral and evenhanded.
Sometimes discriminatory conduct arises over time gradually, even in workplaces where it either did not exist or was not apparent, but becomes apparent later when it comes time for pay raises or reductions in force. Many workers, particularly women, rather than getting the kind of treatment that might otherwise be expected for more senior or experienced employees in the business, get shortchanged or passed over as they get older.
Frequently, discriminatory conduct can be masked by an employer’s policies, procedures, or actions that on the surface appear to be neutral and evenhanded – while the reality is that they are not, and they result in treating equally competent employees differently on the basis of their race, national origin, or some other protected category. It is important to pay attention not just to an employer’s stated reason for an action – the real-world results may matter more. Actions speak louder than words.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation
There are many state and federal laws covering the different categories of discrimination and retaliation. A variety of monetary remedies may be available under these laws, such as back pay, front pay, or liquidated or punitive damages. Non-monetary relief may also be available, such as reinstatement or workplace accommodations for a disability. Many of these laws also provide reimbursement for the plaintiff’s costs and attorney’s fees as well.
Time is of the Essence
Importantly, under all of these laws, the deadline to bring these types of claims can be extremely short – you may only have a matter of months, weeks, or even days to bring a claim.
So do not delay in contacting an attorney if you believe you have been discriminated against or have experienced retaliation from your employer. Contact us online or call The Buenker Law Firm today at (713) 868-3388.