Defending Decency
And Civil Rights In The Workplace

Understanding Workplace Discrimination And Retaliation

Discrimination in the workplace is unlawful. Proving workplace discrimination can be difficult because it often comes down to “he said-she said” circumstances. But if one worker is being treated differently than others in similar working conditions, it is likely that discrimination is afoot.

State and federal laws protect employees from discrimination related to:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion
  • Disability

The law prohibits an employer from retaliating against a worker for reporting discrimination, seeking accommodations or coming back from medical leave. It is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for trying to do what is right by reporting unlawful conditions or requests in the workplace, otherwise known as whistleblowing. Retaliation can be as blatant as wrongfully terminating you, or as subtle as refusing to offer proper training to you, moving your office or passing you over for promotions.

Understanding Age Discrimination

Members of the baby boomer generation have increasingly faced unlawful discrimination in the workplace. Our firm understands that businesses can target older employees, who typically command higher salaries, when seeking to cut costs. Pursuant to federal, state and local law, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee based on age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits age discrimination against anyone 40 or older.

In 1990, Congress amended the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and added the “Older Workers Benefit Protection Act” (“OWBPA”).  If you were terminated and offered a Severance Agreement, the proposed Severance Agreement likely references to this law.  The OWBPA requires that the employer provide specific notices in a valid Severance Agreement.  The OWBPA requires any severance agreement for an individual 40 or over advise the employee in writing to consult with an attorney. Do not sign a severance agreement before consulting with an experienced employment lawyer.

Pursuant to the OWBPA, a valid severance agreement must at a minimum meet the following criteria:

  1. Be written in a manner that can be clearly understood;
  2. Specifically refer to rights or claims arising under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
  3. Provide the employee with at least 21 days to consider the offer;
  4. Allow an employee seven days to revoke his or her signature;
  5. Not include rights and claims that may arise after the date the agreement is executed;
  6. Include consideration in addition to that to which the employee already is entitled.

Our firm frequently represents individuals who have been discriminated against based on age. If you believe you were the victim of age discrimination, call Freedman Law, LLC, today at 301-750-9766 and set up a consultation. We will advise you of your rights and all possible legal avenues.

Mutual Respect In The Workplace Is Ideal But Does Not Always Happen

Purposeful or negligent violations of employment law involving protected statuses include:

  • Being fired for a discriminatory reason
  • Not being hired based on a protected class
  • Not being properly trained for job-related tasks due to a discriminatory intention
  • Tolerating racial slurs
  • Derogatory or discriminatory comments
  • Failure to Promote motivated by discrimination

As an employee, you can speak directly to the person who is harassing you and request they stop the discriminatory behavior. It is also advisable to record the date and time, place, and other circumstances related to the discriminatory actions, especially if they persist.

If their behavior continues, you may file a complaint with your employer as soon as possible. If it is your employer who is discriminating against you, you can reach out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a complaint. We can assist you throughout this process and ensure that your rights and job will be protected.

When your civil rights have become invisible to your employer or co-workers, Freedman Law, LLC, will be here for you. Our highly skilled employment law team will fight to uphold your rights.

Speak With An Employment Law Attorney

At Freedman Law, LLC, we will make it impossible for your employer to ignore your rights. Call 301-750-9766 or email us any time of day.