Assisting Employers and Employees with Employment Discrimination and More
Conflicts between employees and employers are often extremely contentious and can be difficult to navigate for everyone involved, especially if a contract has been breached or rights have been violated. When a problem cannot be solved internally, you may need professional legal guidance to efficiently resolve the problem.
Our Chicago employment litigation lawyers at Regas, Frezados & Dallas LLP represent employees and businesses in numerous types of workplace legal conflicts. Our bright and aggressive legal team can assess your situation and determine what legal options can help you seek justice in your case. We have over 100 years of combined legal experience and can leverage our knowledge and resources to provide cost-effective solutions that will deliver the results you need.
Discrimination involves any situation where someone is deliberately treated less favorably as a result of some element of their identity. Federal law prohibits discriminatory acts in the workplace and in hiring processes, including job postings and interviews.
Employment discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently as a result of their:
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
- Pregnancy Status
- Age (If 40 or Older)
Employment discrimination can take many forms. Some discriminatory acts can be obvious, while others may be less so.
Common examples of employment discrimination include:
- Inappropriate Specifications in a Job Posting. Job listings cannot solicit specific protected categories of applicants. For example, a posting cannot request that applicants be of a certain religion or race. Similarly, listings cannot exclude specific protected categories of applicants, especially if the exclusion is irrelevant to the job responsibilities.
- Inappropriate Questions During a Job Interview. Hiring managers and interviewers cannot ask questions about protected elements of your identity. For example, they cannot ask if you are married, intend to have children, or have a disability.
- Offensive Comments or Harassment. Any banter or remarks that target a protected element of your identity are generally unlawful and may be considered workplace harassment. An employee also cannot be treated unfairly as a result of a protected element of their identity. For example, an employee cannot be excluded from team meetings they otherwise should be included in as a result of their sexual orientation.
- Denial of Reasonable Accommodations. The law requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and specific religious needs. Pregnancy also warrants reasonable accommodations. A requested accommodation can only be declined if it represents an “undue burden.”
- Refusal of Promotions or Advancement Opportunities. Employers cannot deliberately choose not to promote someone due to a protected element of their identity. They must also uniformly provide advancement opportunities to all qualified employees. This can include benefits, such as supplementary education.
- Retaliation. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee as a result of their filing a discrimination complaint internally or with a government authority. Examples of retaliation include demotion, reduction of pay, reduction of work hours, assignment of unfavorable job assignments, and termination.
If you are an employee that has experienced workplace discrimination, you will need to promptly file a formal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you cannot resolve the issue internally. An employee generally has 180 days from the date of the discriminatory incident to file a complaint. Employees may have up to 300 days if a local or state law also applies to the discriminatory act.
When an EEOC report is filed, the agency will investigate the claim. The EEOC will inform the employer of the complaint and request a response. If the EEOC believes there is not sufficient evidence to prove discrimination occurred, they will provide the employee with a letter that allows them to file an independent lawsuit within 90 days of the decision. If there is sufficient evidence, the agency will work with the employer and employee to resolve the situation in a process called conciliation. If conciliation fails, the EEOC can elect to sue an employer on the employee’s behalf. They can also choose not to take any further action and instead allow employees to sue their employers themselves.
In most discrimination cases, an employee must go through the EEOC complaint process before filing a lawsuit against their employer. The only exception applies to employees alleging discriminatory ageism. Individuals in these situations can immediately choose to file a lawsuit under the Equal Pay Act.
Our Chicago employment litigation attorneys routinely assist employees and employers in resolving matters of alleged discrimination. If you are an employee, we can assist you with filing an EEOC complaint and represent you throughout the investigation. Our experience litigating these matters also helps us to proactively counsel businesses to avoid and address potentially discriminatory practices and incidents.
Other Employment Litigation Service Areas
Regas, Frezados & Dallas LLP also regularly represents individual employees and businesses in a variety of other matters warranting employment litigation. Our team of litigators is made up of creative problem solvers and will fight for your rights in and out of the courtroom.
Our Chicago employment litigation lawyers can assist you with:
- Breaches of Contract. Our firm can help enforce provisions of an employment agreement, including any restrictive covenants (such as nondisclosure agreements) and defamation clauses. We can also assist employees with challenging unenforceable elements, such as overly limiting non-compete agreements.
- Compensation Mistakes. Employees are entitled to receiving compensation on time and for all hours worked. When an error results in late or missing payments, employers must take immediate action to correct the issue to avoid costly fines and other legal consequences. We can advise employers in these matters and represent employees in seeking fair pay.
- Workplace Injuries. Workplace accidents in any situation are frightening and tragic for everyone involved. The circumstances that led to the incident will determine how all parties move forward. We can assist employees that have been injured through no fault of their own in exploring their legal options. Our firm also represents businesses in situations where an employee is alleging misconduct or unsafe working conditions.
Since 2003 we have been providing high quality legal services in Chicago. Learn why we continue to be trusted.Why Choose Us
We are the experts and want to share our knowledge to help you get familiar with business law.Read Our FAQ
We Are On Your Side
We have handled thousands of cases and we are ready to give your case the time and attention it deserves.Free Consultation