If you’re the victim of workplace discrimination, you know your employer’s bad choices can touch and harm every area of your life. But you’re not without recourse against an employer’s wrongful actions. Employment discrimination is illegal under federal and North Carolina law. 

Has your employer mistreated you? You can get the help of an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer in Winston-Salem at EMP Law. We put in the hours necessary to help our clients see victory, and we have won large awards on behalf of mistreated workers.

Learn how we can assist you by calling (336) 724-2828 or sending an online message today.

What Is Employment Discrimination?

Employment discrimination occurs when you suffer harassment, punishment, or denial of benefits in the workplace because of your membership in a protected class. You can combat this type of unfair treatment through a lawsuit. You may also choose to file a state or federal complaint against your employer. You can have standing to complain or sue if you’re a current employee, a former employee, or a potential employee going through the application process.

Protected Classes Under Federal Law

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other federal laws give workers certain protections against discrimination

On a federal level, you’re a victim of unlawful discrimination if your employer mistreats you or makes adverse employment decisions against you because of your:

  • Age,
  • Color,
  • Disability,
  • Genetics,
  • Nationality,
  • Pregnancy,
  • Race,
  • Religion, or 
  • Sex.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically protects workers 40 years old or older. And workers with permanent or temporary disabilities can find protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. 

Protected Classes Under North Carolina Law

Under North Carolina law, an employer commits unlawful discrimination if they mistreat you or make adverse employment decisions against you because of your: 

  • Age,
  • Color,
  • Disability,
  • Nationality,
  • Race,
  • Religion, or 
  • Sex.

As you can see, there is a lot of overlap between unlawful discrimination on the state and federal levels. A skilled workplace discrimination lawyer in Winston-Salem can determine your best legal options for holding your employer legally accountable for their misconduct. 

What About Sexual Harassment?

Federal and North Carolina laws include sexual harassment as part of unlawful sex discrimination.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment occurs in many ways, including:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances,
  • Requests for sexual favors,
  • Offensive verbal sexual conduct,
  • Offensive physical sexual conduct,
  • Unwelcome touching, and
  • Offensive comments based on someone’s sex. 

If being subjected to this type of mistreatment is a condition of your continued employment or receipt of benefits, that’s sexual harassment. Or if sexual misconduct in the workplace creates a hostile or disruptive workplace, that’s sexual harassment.

All discrimination and harassment can be difficult to confront, but sexual harassment can be an especially sensitive topic to discuss for many employees. An experienced Winston-Salem sexual harassment attorney can lend a supportive ear to your experience and help protect you and your rights. 

Is Your Employer Liable for the Actions of Others?

Your employer can be liable for workplace sexual harassment regardless of whether your harasser is a:

  • Supervisor, 
  • Coworker, 
  • Contractor, 
  • Client, or 
  • Customer.

Depending on how much control your employer had over the circumstances of your harassment and how they responded (or didn’t respond), they could owe you money damages, workplace changes, or both. The best way to know what you’re owed is to speak to an experienced Winston-Salem sexual harassment lawyer about your situation. 

Filing a Discrimination Complaint or Lawsuit

If you’re the victim of workplace discrimination, you can file a federal complaint (or “charge”) against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Whether you plan to file a federal or state complaint or lawsuit, your employer must have at least 15 employees to be liable under the law. And you generally have only 180 days to file a complaint. It’s best to speak to a discrimination or sexual harassment attorney in Winston-Salem immediately to help ensure you meet critical deadlines. 

You can also sue your employer in civil court for discrimination. Depending on the circumstances, you might have to wait on certain determinations from your government complaint before you can sue in court. 

We Have the Skill, Experience, and Determination to Protect You

When you give your time and hard work to an employer, you should expect to be protected. Unfortunately, many employers fail to protect their employees. That’s where we step in.

At EMP Law, we are well-known for our exceptional employment law team. We are highly experienced, and we have delivered significant compensation for harmed employees. Talk to us if you need a skilled employment discrimination or workplace sexual harassment lawyer in Winston-Salem. You can call us at (336) 724-2828 or reach us online

We Can Help You.

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