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Pittsburgh Employment and Workplace Discrimination Lawyers
Employment law is tricky, but there’s one aspect that everyone can agree upon—no one should experience discrimination or harassment in their workplace. Unfortunately, employers violate the rights of their employees more often than we might assume, mistreating them despite multiple local, state, and federal laws outlawing this unacceptable behavior. This can look different depending on the workplace the discrimination occurs within and, in some cases, the prejudice occurs behind closed doors. These unjust employers know what they’re doing, so they’ll attempt to conceal their actions and destroy evidence of their behavior to escape their liability, but it’s only a matter of time before their discriminatory actions come to light.
Employment and workplace discrimination occurs when an employer treats you differently based on your age, race, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, or other protected characteristics. This can occur during your employment or within the hiring process, with the prejudiced individual standing as a barrier between them and fair treatment, but the end result is all the same. The victimized party is left confused, disrespected, and potentially without a job, all because the person employing them can’t see past their bias and treat everyone fairly within their workplace.
Employment and workplace discrimination is difficult to prove if your employer takes proactive steps to conceal their actions. Without evidence of their behavior, it’s almost impossible to hold them accountable for discriminating against you, which is why it’s recommended to team up with an experienced attorney as soon as you suspect your employer is mistreating you. However, every law firm is different, with each having unique benefits that may make one more beneficial for your circumstances than another. Smaller firms offer a more personalized touch, whereas larger firms have more resources to use at their disposal. Most people have to settle on one or the other, but what if there was an option right in front of you that offered the best of both worlds?
Morgan and Morgan, America’s largest personal injury firm, offers the attention of a small firm with the resources of a corporate giant. All of our employment and workplace discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh are uniquely equipped with the necessary resources, experience, and knowledge to give you the best possible chance of holding the at-fault party accountable for their discriminatory actions. Our team understands how to uncover evidence, negotiate, and work every case up the right way, giving our clients an undeniable edge as they seek to expose discrimination and harassment in their workplaces.
With over $15 billion recovered since our inception, decades of experience behind us, and the commitment to never settle for less than our clients deserve, there’s only one firm that you should trust after experiencing discrimination in your workplace—Morgan and Morgan.
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What Qualifies as Discrimination in the Workplace?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), discrimination is defined as the “unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, or sexual orientation.” This can occur on an individual scale, like an employer passing up on an employee for a promotion because of their gender, or on an institution-wide scale, which can range from unequivocal hiring practices to blatantly racist employee handbook policies. Here are a few situations that would qualify as employment or workplace discrimination:
- Passing over a qualified candidate because of their race
- Only hiring one race, religion, or ethnicity
- Promoting one individual over another because of their age, despite being overqualified
- Excluding certain employees from work events because of their skin color
- Terminating someone’s employment for requesting maternity leave
- Scheduling shifts unequivocally based on protected characteristics
All of these situations might be blatant discrimination that anyone would recognize as unethical, but without being able to prove your employer acted out of prejudice, you’re not able to do much. Proving discrimination is easy in some cases and difficult in others, but choosing to proceed without an attorney is a significant risk. You don’t know what legal hurdles you’ll encounter on your path. If you’re faced with something you can’t handle promptly, you risk losing your rightful compensation and, more importantly, holding the at-fault party accountable for their unjust actions. Give yourself the best possible chance of success in your lawsuit—team up with Morgan and Morgan’s employment and workplace discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh.
What Is a Protected Characteristic?
A protected characteristic is a personal trait that you can’t change and, therefore, cannot be used as a reason for discrimination, violence, or other forms of harm. Here are a few of the many protected characteristics that someone can possess:
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy status
The bottom line? Every workplace should treat each employee with the same respect that they would treat another and give equal opportunity to everyone on staff, regardless of their protected characteristics. Behind every instance of employment and workplace discrimination is a person who was mistreated because of something that makes them who they are, which is just as upsetting and unfortunate as it is unethical. One person’s prejudiced decision can cost someone a job in some cases, leaving them without an opportunity that could have changed their life and the false assumption that they don’t belong. By teaming up with an attorney, you gain a legal tool that can allow you to fight back against wrongful treatment and hold them accountable for discriminating against you.
How Much Can You Win in a Discrimination Lawsuit?
Every lawsuit is different, with each one having its own respective details that increase or decrease your total compensation payout. However, some states limit the maximum amount you can seek for recovery through an employment and workplace discrimination lawsuit. Typically, the limit depends on the number of workers employed by the prejudiced employer. Here are the damage caps that apply to most states:
- 15-100 employees: $50,000 limit
- 101-200 employees: $100,000 limit
- 201-500 employee: $200,000 limit
- More than 500 employees: $300,000 limit
Regardless of the amount you’re limited to, there’s always a chance that the at-fault party tries to diminish or outright deny the compensation you’re entitled to. They may try to escape liability by delaying the case, hiding or destroying evidence, or another malicious tactic, but with the help of an attorney, you give yourself a much better chance of sidestepping these hurdles and reaching a successful outcome.
What Is the EEOC?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal workplace discrimination laws and statutes. They investigate instances of employment or workplace discrimination, but they can also file a lawsuit and litigate cases on behalf of victims depending on the “strength of the evidence, the issues in the case, and the wider impact the lawsuit could have on the EEOC's efforts to combat workplace discrimination,” according to the EEOC. They’re involved in most lawsuits and work to eliminate discrimination in workplaces nationwide by providing leadership and guidance to numerous federal agencies.