Employment Discrimination in Hickory, NC
The Invisible Barrier: Employment Discrimination in Hickory, NC
Hickory, North Carolina, is home to a diverse population of workers and job seekers. Despite this diversity, employment discrimination remains a significant barrier to success for many individuals. Discrimination can take many forms, including hiring bias, wage disparities, and unfair termination practices.
In order to combat employment discrimination in Hickory, it is important to understand its root causes and prevalence. By identifying these issues, policymakers, employers, and community leaders can work together to create a more equitable and inclusive workforce. This can lead to better outcomes for individuals and businesses alike, and help to create a stronger, more vibrant economy in Hickory, North Carolina.
Holding Companies Accountable For Unlawful Behavior
When you rely on your paycheck to support your family, you may be hesitant to take legal action after you are subjected to unlawful behavior at work. Employers do not have the right to mistreat and discriminate against you.
Your employers may try to use their position of power to violate federal laws, but our legal team will help hold companies accountable for their unlawful actions. Our founding attorney, Anthony Burts, is eager to advocate you. He has represented individuals from all walks of life who need a strong ally in their corner.
We Aggressively Pursue Compensation After You Have Suffered An Injustice
Our team has a comprehensive understanding of workers’ rights. From day one, we will give you the prompt attention you deserve and the skilled counsel you need to make sound choices about your legal options.
We are equipped to represent you in many discrimination matters, including claims regarding:
- Gender or sex
- Religious affiliation
- Sexual orientation
- Medical condition, which includes pregnancy, or disability
- Marital status
We will not back down from a legal challenge in or out of court. Whether your employer has a local, regional or national presence, we will make it our mission to secure compensation for the injustices you have suffered.
Understanding Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly or differently based on their gender, gender identity, or gender expression. This discriminatory behavior can manifest in various ways, including:
Unequal Pay: Disparities in compensation between employees of different genders performing similar roles and responsibilities.
Promotional Bias: Denying promotions or advancements to qualified employees based on their gender.
Hostile Work Environment: Subjecting an employee to a hostile or offensive work environment due to their gender.
Retaliation: Punishing an employee for raising concerns about gender discrimination or harassment.
Pregnancy Discrimination: Treating pregnant employees unfavorably, leading to adverse employment actions.
Our experienced Hickory gender discrimination employment lawyer is well-versed in handling gender discrimination cases.
Understanding Racial Discrimination
Racial discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfairly or differently based on their race, color, ethnicity, or national origin. This form of discrimination is not only unjust but also illegal under various federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines.
Common Types of Racial Discrimination:
Hiring Bias: Unfair treatment during the hiring process due to an individual’s race or ethnicity.
Workplace Harassment: Subjecting an employee to offensive or hostile conduct based on their race.
Unequal Pay: Disparities in compensation based on an employee’s race, despite performing similar roles.
Promotion Denial: Denying deserving employees of certain racial backgrounds opportunities for career advancement.
Retaliation: Punishing an employee for filing a complaint or participating in activities related to addressing racial discrimination.
Our experienced Hickory racial discrimination employment lawyer is well-versed in handling racial discrimination cases.
Understanding Age Discrimination
Age discrimination occurs when an individual is treated unfairly or differently due to their age, typically 40 years or older, in the context of employment decisions. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects individuals from age-based discrimination in various aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, benefits, and layoffs.
Common Signs of Age Discrimination:
Hiring Bias: Being denied job opportunities due to age, often manifested through age-related questions during interviews.
Promotion Denial: Qualified older employees overlooked for promotions in favor of younger colleagues.
Age-Based Harassment: Subjecting an employee to offensive remarks or jokes about their age.
Unfair Termination: Employees facing layoffs or terminations based on age, disguised as downsizing or restructuring.
Compensation Disparities: Unequal pay or benefits offered to older workers compared to their younger counterparts.
Our experienced Hickory age discrimination employment lawyer is well-versed in handling age discrimination cases.
Understanding Disability Discrimination
Disability discrimination occurs when an individual with a disability is treated unfairly or unequally in the workplace due to their disability or perceived disability. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in hiring, firing, promotions, and other aspects of employment.
Common Forms of Disability Discrimination:
Hiring Bias: Being denied a job opportunity based on a disability, even if you are qualified for the position.
Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodations: Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities to enable them to perform their job duties. If these accommodations are not provided, it may constitute discrimination.
Harassment: Subjecting an employee to offensive or derogatory comments or actions related to their disability.
Retaliation: Punishing an employee for requesting accommodations or raising concerns about disability discrimination.
Unequal Treatment: Treating employees with disabilities differently in terms of promotions, benefits, or job assignments.
Our experienced Hickory disability discrimination employment lawyer is well-versed in handling disability discrimination cases.
North Carolina Retaliatory Discrimination Act
The North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (NC REDA) prohibits employers from retaliating against or penalizing employees for engaging in certain protected activities.
NC REDA prohibits any person from discriminating or taking retaliatory action against an employee who in good faith takes or threatens to take action under any of the following North Carolina laws:
- Workers’ Compensation Act;
- Wage and Hour Act;
- Occupational Safety and Health Act;
- Mine Safety and Health Act;
- Prohibitions against discrimination based on sickle cell or hemoglobin C trait;
- National Guard Reemployment Rights;
- Prohibitions against discrimination based on genetic testing or counseling;
- North Carolina Pesticide Law;
- Drug Paraphernalia Control Act of 2009;
- Authority over Parents of Juveniles Adjudicated Delinquent or Undisciplined;
- Domestic Violence Law.
NC REDA defines “person” to mean any individual, partnership, association, corporation, business trust, legal representative, the State, a city, town, county, municipality, local agency, or other entity of government.
Retaliatory Action Defined
NC REDA defines the retaliatory actions it prohibits as including the discharge, suspension, demotion, retaliatory relocation of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms, conditions, privileges, and benefits of employment.
Administrative Complaint Process
If an employee experiences prohibited retaliation, NC REDA provides a process to file a written complaint with the Commissioner of Labor. The complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged violation.
The Commissioner will investigate the complaint. If the Commissioner finds a violation, the Commissioner may attempt to resolve the violation through a conciliation process or other informal methods, or by filing a civil action on behalf of the employee. If the Commissioner is unable to resolve the violation and decides not to file a civil action, or finds no reasonable cause to conclude a violation occurred, the Commissioner will issue to the employee a right-to-sue letter allowing the employee to bring his or her claims in court. The employee may also request a right-to-sue letter after 90 days.
Private Right of Action
The right-sue-letter authorizes the employee to bring a civil action in court regarding the violation. The action may be filed in the superior court of the county where the violation occurred, where the employee resides, or where the defendant resides or has his principal place of business.
A civil action under NC REDA must be commenced by the employee within 90 days of the date the right-to-sue letter was issued, or by the Commissioner within 90 days of the date the Commissioner notifies the parties in writing that conciliation efforts have failed.
In the civil action, the employee or the Commissioner may seek and the court may award any or all of the following types of relief:
- An injunction to enjoin continued violations;
- Reinstatement of the employee to the same position held before the retaliatory action or discrimination or to an equivalent position;
- Reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights;
- Compensation for lost wages, lost benefits, and other economic losses that were proximately caused by the retaliatory action or discrimination;
Willful violations result in treble damages. If the court finds that the employee was injured by a willful violation, the court must treble the amount awarded under part (4) above (compensation for economic losses).
The court may award to the plaintiff employee and assess against the defendant the reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, of the plaintiff in bringing the civil action. But if the court determines that the plaintiff’s action is frivolous, it may award to the defendant and assess against the plaintiff the reasonable costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, of the defendant in defending the action brought pursuant to this section.
Parties to a civil action brought under NC REDA have the right to a jury trial. Importantly, an employee may only bring an action under this section when he has been issued a right-to-sue letter by the Commissioner.
Take The First Step Toward Protecting Your Rights
When you choose Burts Law as your legal representation, you gain a dedicated team of advocates who are committed to achieving justice for discrimination victims. We provide personalized attention to each case, conducting thorough investigations, collecting evidence, and crafting compelling arguments to present in court or settlement negotiations.
Arrange a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable Hickory employment law attorney by emailing or calling Burts Law at 866-287-8752. Check out our conveniently located offices in North Carolina and South Carolina here. Contact us today to take the first step towards fighting to receive a just outcome.