Workplace Discrimination

Protect Your Civil Rights from Workplace Discrimination

America is a country built on the promise of equal opportunity for all. For over two centuries we’ve been working to making that promise a reality, but illegal discrimination still haunts many of our workplaces. If you have suffered the effects of unlawful discrimination in the workplace because of your race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age or disability, we will help you fight back.

Discrimination on the basis of one or more of the following “protected categories” is unlawful:

If you have been subjected to unlawful workplace discrimination, you may already have a sense that you are in danger of losing your job. Contact an employment lawyer while you are still employed. There may be important opportunities to gather evidence while you are still in the workplace, and there are specific measures we can take to counter a company’s attempt to wrongfully fire you or retaliate against you.

Your employer may have broken the law if any of those categories factored into an employment decision involve:

  • Hiring
  • Lay-offs or firing
  • Promotions or demotions
  • Substantial reductions in job duties and responsibilities
  • Wages, benefits, bonuses and other compensation
  • Job conditions

When is it Considered Discrimination in the Workplace?

Workplace discrimination can be blatant or subtle. When an employer treats one employee differently from another, the employer is technically “discriminating” between the two. Workplace discrimination doesn’t have to be blatant or intentional in order to be real. For example, race discrimination may not affect entry-level hiring positions, but if a company largely fails to promote people of color, race discrimination may be a factor. The law looks at “disparate impact” — for example, if employees are given a job-related test and a disproportionate percentage of people of color fail that test, the test may itself be inherently biased. One may also question whether the test actually relates to the skills that are relevant in the job.

When Firing an Employee is Illegal

Most employees in North Carolina and throughout the United States are “at will” employees. That means you can leave your job for any reason you choose, just as your employer can let you go from your job with or without cause. What your employer cannot do, however, is fire you from your job for illegal reasons, such as discrimination or retaliation. Firing an employee for illegal reasons is called “wrongful termination,” and the employee may be entitled to bring a lawsuit if it occurs.