Most of us spend more time working than any other activity in life. Being able to work to earn a living is essential for the well-being of the individual, family, and society as a whole. In Arizona, state and federal laws are in place to promote a workplace free from discrimination or harassment that could interfere with the ability of our citizens to exercise this basic human right.
Unfortunately, harassment, discrimination, and other unfair practices are not uncommon. If you’ve been discriminated against, harassed, denied a leave you’re legally entitled to, or retaliated against for demanding your rights or making an official complaint about an illegal practice where you work, you may be entitled to pursue compensation by bringing a legal action against your employer.
To learn more, contact the Tucson employment lawyers at Robaina and Kesin, PLLC. Since 1997 Robaina and Kesin, PLLC, has focused exclusively on employment law. We are committed to helping employees who have suffered from employment discrimination and are passionate about working to achieve a fair and equitable workplace. If you’ve experienced workplace discrimination, we will help you pursue a monetary award to compensate you for the damages you’ve suffered.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 99,412 claims of workplace discrimination during fiscal year 2012. Some cases alleged discrimination in more than one category, so the figures add up to more than the total number of complaints.
Racial discrimination may be conscious or unconscious, direct or indirect, and may affect an individual or group, with or without harassment. Racial discrimination can occur when making hiring decisions and when determining compensation, promotions, or duties.
Racial discrimination in the workplace shows up in a variety of ways:
If you believe that you’ve been discriminated against because of your race, the lawyers at Robaina and Kesin, PLLC, will assist you in filing a complaint with the federal EEOC or the Arizona Attorney General’s CRD (Civil Rights Division), who will investigate and issue a right-to-sue letter, required before you initiate a lawsuit.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees religious freedom. The right to practice your religion does not end when you go to work. Discrimination or harassment based on a person’s religious beliefs or practices is illegal. This prohibition applies not only to adherents of the world’s major religions, and also to anyone with other sincerely-held religious beliefs, including atheism, Wicca, and others removed from the mainstream.
Furthermore, Title IV of the Equal Opportunity Employment Act requires an employer to make reasonable accommodation for a person’s religious practices, as long as doing so doesn’t place undue hardship on the employer or other workers, for example allowing a Muslim woman to wear a headscarf or a Jewish man to wear a yarmulke.
Allowing any employee to be subjected to ongoing slurs or demeaning of the employee’s religious beliefs is illegal and may create a hostile work environment, and it is the employer’s responsibility to prevent it.
Older workers often find themselves at a disadvantage when trying to find work, especially in a challenging economy. Those who have jobs may need to worry about their job security. Many older workers earn more because they’ve had regular pay increases over the years; younger workers command lower salaries.
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older in any aspect of employment. A person cannot legally be denied a job; fired or laid off; paid less; denied benefits, training, or promotions; or given unpopular job assignments because of age. The law also prohibits harassment based on age, which is a means by which some companies attempt to push older workers out to be replaced by younger ones at lower pay.
Sex discrimination is any discrimination associated with a person’s sex, including pregnancy, maternity, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Sexual harassment in Tucson is also not tolerated and victims need to speak out.
A woman’s right to become a mother should not interfere with her job or limit her career opportunities. Any discrimination against a woman because she is pregnant is prohibited by Arizona and federal law. A woman may not be denied a job for which she is qualified, fired, disciplined, or harassed; demoted or denied a promotion. The fact that she is pregnant may not be considered in determining pay or benefits.
A pregnancy must legally be treated as a temporary disability; a pregnant woman must receive the same consideration and treatment as any other employee who has become temporarily disabled.
An employer cannot fail to hire a woman because of her pregnancy nor interfere with her right to take a pregnancy-related leave. She may not be terminated when the employer discover that she is pregnant or after she requests a maternity leave, nor may she be harassed or told that she will not have a job waiting for her when her leave is over. She cannot be denied a promotion based on the fact that she is pregnant, nor may the employer withhold any other benefit that she would be able to receive if she were not pregnant.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Arizona Civil Rights Act both prohibit employment discrimination based on sex.
A person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is a personal matter. As a whole, American society is coming to understand this and embrace diversity, but there are still those whose bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender workers results in workplace discrimination. An LGBT person who is continually subjected to derogatory comments, gestures, or threats referring to his or her sexuality can to file a complaint and bring an action against the employer for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and tolerating or promoting a sexually hostile workplace environment.
If you’ve suffered from any form of sex discrimination, your lawyer at Robaina and Kesin will guide you through the steps involved in making a formal complaint with the appropriate agency, which must be done before you can file a lawsuit.
For a person with a disability, finding and keeping a job can be challenging and frustrating. You know you have what it takes to do the job well, but when you apply for a position, it seems as if employers only see what you can’t do, irrelevant though it might be, as they disregard the evidence of your well-honed abilities. Although laws are in place to protect you from discrimination because of your disability, employers will sometimes try to find another reason to hire someone else.
Because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Arizona Civil Rights Act prohibit employers from discriminating against qualified workers with disabilities in hiring, firing, determining pay, promotion or demotion, and other aspects of employment, with the help of an experienced and dedicated Tucson disability lawyer, you have legal recourse when you’re the victim of a violation of the law. The attorneys at Robaina and Kesin can help you through the process of holding these lawbreakers accountable for their biases while obtaining the compensation that you deserve.
For honest answers to all of your questions about your workplace discrimination situation, or to schedule a case review with an employment attorney, call the law firm of Robaina and Kresin, PLLC in Tucson today.