Discrimination Attorney in Pittsburgh
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Discrimination Lawyers in Pittsburgh
Considered by many legal analysts to be one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed by the United States Congress and signed by an American President, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 contains a section called Title VII that prohibits discrimination in the workplace. Employers cannot discriminate against workers and job applicants because of factors such as race, gender, religion, and national origin. Subsequent laws passed by the United States ban discrimination based on age and disability. Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 represents the most sweeping piece of federal legislation that addresses discrimination, many states have expanded the legal protections of Title VII by enacting stricter anti-discrimination laws.
Pennsylvania is one state that has moved beyond the legal protections granted by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1994. The Keystone State follows the statutes written into the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), which addresses discrimination in the workplace, as well as in housing, education, commercial properties, and public accommodations. Discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh PA typically refer to the PHRA when representing clients that face discrimination because the PHRA provides more legal protections for victims of discrimination.
Workers that have to deal with discrimination in the workplace feel a wide variety of negative emotions that adversely impact their careers. Emotions such as fear, anger, and embarrassment diminished performance, as well as impede the development of professional relationships. Because of the negative emotions that hinder workplace performance, victims of discrimination often take a huge financial hit. One of the primary goals of the best discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA involves helping clients recover the financial losses caused by discrimination in the workplace.
If you face employment discrimination, you should seek the experienced legal support provided by the team of employment attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. Since 1988, Morgan & Morgan has handled cases for clients that involved some form of employment discrimination. We guide clients through a legal process that can include filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. The employment lawyers at Morgan & Morgan also possess the skills to negotiate favorable settlements for clients.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to determine how to proceed with your discrimination claim.
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How Does Pennsylvania Protect Workers Against Discrimination?
The PHRA expands the legal protections granted by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Like Title VII, the PHRA prohibits discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, and national origin. Employers in Pennsylvania cannot discriminate based on age for workers that are between 40 and 70 years old. Workers that live with a mental and/or physical disability receive legal protections as well. As with federal law, the PHRA requires Pennsylvania employers to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for disabled workers.
Pennsylvania anti-discrimination statutes forbid employers from discriminating against workers because of their education status. An employer cannot discriminate against you because you have earned a GED and not a high school diploma. If you use a service animal for any reason, your employer must allow the service animal to accompany you in the workplace. Your employer also has to make accommodations for the service animal.
The PHRA protects expectant mothers against discrimination at work, with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permitting pregnant workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Any employer that discriminates by cutting the hours of a pregnant worker or failing to grant 12 weeks of unpaid leave has violated federal law.
What Are the Organizations That Protect Against Discrimination?
Before you contact one of the discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA at Morgan & Morgan, you should reach out to a state and/or federal government agency to determine whether you can persuade your employer to address the acts of discrimination taken against you.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) represents the department of the federal government that protects the rights of American workers. Most companies with at least 15 employees must follow the regulations the EEOC has established for promoting equal opportunities in the workplace. The EEOC has the legal power to investigate charges of discrimination that include hiring, promotion, termination, and compensation issues.
Office of Civil Rights
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) handles complaints that deal with civil liberties, health information, and religious freedom. Representatives of the OCR educate employers about the issues surrounding freedom and privacy.
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) enforces every discrimination law passed at the state level. If you want to file a discrimination complaint against your employer, you can call 717-787-4410 or 717-787-9784. You also can file a complaint online by submitting the short form.
How Do I Identify Discrimination in the Workplace?
Detecting employment discrimination often is not easy to do. Many types of discrimination are subtle slights, such as not asking a worker to participate in a social event or delaying the direct deposits of paychecks by just one day. Many employers dismiss claims of discrimination because an act is considered harmless or a manager was just joking around. However, you can recognize discrimination in the workplace by paying attention to obvious acts.
If you have doubts about what constitutes discrimination at work, contact one of the experienced discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA at Morgan & Morgan.
Employees that are part of the protected categories listed under Title VII and the PHRA can face retaliation from their managers. If you notice workers losing their jobs because they rocked the boat and the workers represent one of the protected categories against discrimination, you might work for an employer that at the very least, condones discrimination in the workplace.
Lack of Diversity
Lack of diversity is a clear sign your employer favors certain demographic groups. Even if your employer has hired a diverse workforce for age and gender, perhaps your employer has failed to recruit a diverse workforce based on race and national origin. Working for an employer that fails to implement a diversity program is a good reason to contact one of the discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA at Morgan & Morgan.
Having to deal with offensive comments regarding race, gender, religion, and national origin can cause a considerable amount of shame. Discriminatory comments that offend workers can occur verbally or via digital communications such as emails and text messages. You do not have to tolerate offensive comments in the workplace. Speak with the human resources manager and if you do not receive the response that you want, contact one of the discrimination attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.
Does your employer ask personal questions that have nothing to do with your job responsibilities? Did you face uncomfortable questions about your personal life during the interview process? Your employer cannot ask about your personal life for any reason, such as asking about your religious beliefs or your feelings about the gay community.
Most employees work under a legal principle called at-will employment. Under this arrangement, both employers and employees can end an employment relationship at any time, under most circumstances One circumstance that prevents your employer from terminating the employment relationship involves discrimination. Your employer cannot fire you because of the factors listed under Title VII and in the PHRA.
One of the most blatant acts of discrimination concerns compensation. For example, it is illegal for your employer to pay one worker more money than what another worker receives for performing the same job tasks. This legal principle also applies to promotions, such as an employer refusing to promote a qualified worker because of the worker’s race. Working with the team of discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA at Morgan & Morgan can prevent your employer from paying you less based on race, gender, religion, and national origin, among the other factors listed under Title VII and in the PHRA.
What Is the Process for Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Discrimination in the Workplace?
The first item on your to-do list involves contacting one of the discrimination attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. With the help of an experienced employment lawyer, you gather and organize the evidence you need to file a persuasive civil lawsuit. Evidence can include copies of paychecks, performance reviews, and video footage shot at work that depicts overt acts of harassment and intimidation. Your discrimination attorney also interviews your professional peers to provide support for the evidence that you submit.
Present Notice of Lawsuit Intent
After collecting and organizing evidence, you send your employer notice of lawsuit intent. Your employer might respond to the notice by requesting a meeting with your employment lawyer. Most judges prefer the parties involved in a discrimination lawsuit to try to settle their differences before the case goes to trial. Notice of lawsuit intent represents the first opportunity to resolve your discrimination claim during the litigation process.
File a Civil Lawsuit
One of the reasons you should hire one of the discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA at Morgan & Morgan regards the timely filing of legal documents. You have 180 days after the last act of discrimination to file a formal claim with the state. Your employment lawyer ensures you file the proper documents to get your claimed process quickly. Filing a civil lawsuit requires you to submit the proper documents before the expiration of the statute of limitations.
The discovery phase of the litigation gives your discrimination attorney another opportunity to negotiate a favorable settlement with your employer. Both parties exchange evidence, as well as interview witnesses during the discovery phase. The judge hearing your case might request both parties try to negotiate a settlement under the guidance of a neutral third party.
The judge overseeing a discrimination lawsuit reviews the evidence and listens to the testimony provided by witnesses. If the judge rules in your favor, you might qualify for monetary damages that can include back pay, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. Going through the trial phase of the litigation process requires the legal support of one of the discrimination lawyers in Pittsburgh, PA at Morgan & Morgan.
Act With a Sense of Urgency
Do not permit one act of discrimination to morph into several acts of discrimination. The first time you experience discrimination in the workplace should be the last time your employer treats you unfairly.
Schedule a free case evaluation with one of the highly-rated employment lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.