Workplace Discrimination in Mesa, AZ
Workplace discrimination in Mesa, regardless of the form or the perpetrator, is never okay. Factoring in not only that it is illegal, but now someone has tainted a space where you are required to generally spend one third of your workweek. If you have been discriminated against at work, you may want to contact an experienced attorney in Mesa.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
Discrimination in the workplace deals with unfair treatment. These laws can vary, depending on factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, physical qualities, or age. Workplace discrimination can occur between employees or between employers and existing or prospective employees.
Mesa, Arizona Labor laws make some types of workplace discrimination illegal. If illegal discrimination occurs, workers may be able to file a workplace discrimination lawsuit. A worker does not need to currently have employment from a company to face qualifying acts of discrimination. For instance, say the company chose not to hire someone. If it’s because of a qualifying characteristic, the individual may be able to file a claim.
Here are some of the most common types of discrimination that occur in the Mesa, AZ work environment:
- Choosing not to hire someone because of their disability
- Choosing not to promote someone because of their race
- Excluding someone from a project because management says they’re too old
- Making misogynistic comments about women
- Deliberately paying men more than women because the boss values their work more
Should You File a Complaint With the HR Department or the EEOC?
Most Mesa, AZ companies have a human resources department and discrimination in the workplace falls within their portfolio. For that reason, raising concerns with the appropriate HR representative may include filing a written report, a possible sit-down interview, and an investigation.
Sometimes a company does not have a human resources department and there are no policies in place. To resolve the issue, you might take your concerns directly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They can assist you in investigating the claim and possibly filing a lawsuit.
The Federal EEOC states that before Mesa residents can file a lawsuit for discrimination. they must first file a discrimination claim. This holds true for most aspects, except for a violation of the Equal Pay Act. Once you file you’ll have 10 days before your employer receives a copy of the complaint. Then the EEOC will either choose to investigate, mediate, or dismiss your claim.
What Laws Protect Against Discrimination in the Workplace?
There are federal workplace discrimination laws that help to protect employees. On a federal level, Mesa employees have protections from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, many states have even stronger laws that offer additional protections.
Let’s use an example. California is the first state where ethnic hair and the right to wear it naturally became a right with protections. In other states, employers may discriminate against natural hair because it is part of racial discrimination.
Mesa employers are prohibited from terminating employees on a discriminatory basis, according to Arizona’s Anti Discrimination Policies . You cannot lose your job due to specific reasons, such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. Your employer also cannot terminate your position due to military status or free exercise of civil liberties, such as voting.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This specifically prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, religion, sex, color, or national origin. It typically applies to organizations with 15 or more employees. It also applies to schools (both public and private) and labor organizations. The EEOC’s primary responsibility is enforcing this law.
The Arizona Civil Rights Advisory Board conducts sporadic surveys to gauge the effect of discrimination in Tucson, and to foster an environment that will eradicate such practices. A politically balanced volunteer body, the ACRAB is under the umbrella of the Arizona Civil Rights Division.
Other Notable Applicable Federal Discrimination Laws
- Equal Pay Act (EPA) – Deals with equal pay act for men and women
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) – Protects workers aged 40 and over
- Americans with Disabilities Act – Protects employees with physical disabilities
Examples of State Workplace Discrimination Laws
- Arizona Civil Rights Act– Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, sex, religion, or national origin.
- Arizona Whistleblower Act– prevents retaliation against employees who file claims of illegal or unsafe activities.
What Is the Workplace Discrimination Process Like?
Filing a claim for workplace discrimination in Mesa, Arizona can be a tricky process given the number of potential laws in play. This is especially the case when the characteristics with protections only qualify under state law. The EEOC enforces federal workplace discrimination laws. In some cases, individual state labor departments handle the claims that only qualify under state law.
Filing a Claim
When it comes to federal claims, workers have about 180 days to file, to remain within the statute of limitations. Time is of the essence with discrimination claims. It’s a good idea to hire a discrimination lawyer to help from the beginning.
Mesa, AZ claimants also need to provide some basic information with their claim. Depending on the agency, the employer’s name, the name(s) of involved parties, and a description of the incident. It will also include the contact information for everyone with involvement in the issue.
Once the investigation has begun, the agency may request more information. They generally give you ample time and opportunity to produce said information if this happens.
Investigating the Claim
The investigation may involve interviewing the Mesa employee, employer, other employees at the same place of business. However, it may also include anyone else who may have relevant information. The agency determines that the claim is valid and discrimination did, in fact, take place. The next step is generally to work for settlement or mediation. For this reason, both parties may have an incentive to work out a compromise.
Still, it might be necessary to file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. This is especially true if the parties cannot reach a settlement on the employee’s behalf. If that’s the case, an attorney issues what is known as a “Right To Sue” letter. This letter gives the employee suffering from discrimination the right to sue on their own accord.
If your claim has been denied or dismissed, there is an appeals process you can follow with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mesa residents have 30 days to file the appeal from the date you receive notice of your claims denial. You can choose to submit your appeal online, by mail, or in person. However, you may want an experienced Mesa attorney to best help guide you through this process.
Work With an Experienced Workplace Discrimination Lawyer In Mesa, Arizona
Consider hiring a Mesa lawyer who specializes in discrimination as soon as the incident takes place. Experts often recommend that you resolve the issue internally through the proper HR channels. On the other hand, many employers mishandle these cases.
If you are considering a lawsuit an attorney becomes even more necessary. Mesa, AZ discrimination attorneys can help you with the paperwork, prepare you for depositions, and find corroborating witnesses to support your claim.
If the court rules in your favor, you might become entitled to several different compensatory benefits:
- Back pay
- Front pay
- Reasonable accommodations
- Payment of attorneys’ fees, court costs, and expert witness fees
Are you ready to find out if you are eligible for these benefits in Mesa? Start with a case review.