Zachary Zawarski is an employment and labor law attorney practicing in Bethlehem, Allentown, and Easton. Part of his practice focuses on employment discrimination. Unfortunately, discrimination still exists in the workplace and workers should be aware that they are protected by both state and federal law when it comes to employment discrimination.
What and Who Is Protected From Discrimination
The first thing to be aware of is that employment discrimination applies to all aspects of employment. Employment discrimination is not limited to refusing to hire someone or terminating someone from their position. The law applies to all employment actions, which includes job placements, compensation, benefits, privileges, promotions, and work conditions. The next thing to be aware of is the classes that are protected. Discrimination laws only protect certain protected classes: race, color, gender, age, national origin, and religion.
Federal & Pennsylvania Discrimination Laws
Workers with a potential employment discrimination claim should also be aware of the laws that apply to discrimination lawsuits. Workers are often protected by both state and federal law. If an employer has 15 or more employees, they fall within federal law, which is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, Pennsylvania state law covers employees who work for an employer with less than 15 employees. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) applies to all employers who have at least four employees. All employers in Pennsylvania are required to post this notice in aÂ conspicuousÂ place in their office.
What To Do When You Are Being Discriminated Against
The first thing someone should do when they are being discriminated against in the workplace is speak with attorney. In order to file a claim for discrimination, the advice of an attorney is necessary because the process of filing a complaint is complicated and several different laws or theories of recovery may apply. The experience of an attorney in reaching a settlement will also be beneficial to you.
I would be happy to represent you on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you do not have to incur any out-of-pocket expenses or legal fees to file a discrimination complaint against an employer. I will receive attorney fees only upon the successful resolution of your case and will obtain a percentage of the recovery. To file a claim, please contact me by calling (484) 362-9286 or you can email us.
The process starts by providing your employer with notice of your claim by having an attorney write a letter to your employer. In some cases, a settlement can be reached at this stage, but the letter may also be met with inaction. The next step in the process would be filing a formal complaint with the applicable employment commissions who will then investigate the claim.
Before someone can sue for discrimination in court, they must obtain a right-to-sue letter from the commission. The commission is responsible for investigating the claim and mediating a settlement between the parties. If a settlement cannot be reached and the commission concludes that you were subject to discrimination, they may be able to enter an award during a public hearing or provide you with aÂ right-to-sue so your claim may be filed in court.
If you believe you have a discrimination claim against your employer, please contact me by calling (484) 362-9286 or you can email us. We represent clients in the Lehigh Valley including Easton, Bethlehem, and Allentown. Whether you are located in Northampton or Lehigh county, we can help you.