Many discrimination complaints originate from the workplace, but that’s not to say that discrimination does not happen in other places. There are an overwhelming number of these cases reported every year and these numbers increase every year, all around the globe.
Employees spend a lot of time at the workplace, some employees work longer hours than others. They might work overtime or be called into work on a weekend. If an employee is dealing with discrimination at work, then it can really bring that person down. They have to go to work everyday, sometimes for twelve hours or more a day. Receiving derogatory comments or being passed over for promotion due to discrimination can really hurt a person’s self-worth and confidence, not to mention the damage it might do to their mental health.
If an employee, or anyone for that matter, is being discriminated against then it is in their best interests to be proactive in getting legal advice, reporting the behavior and protecting their rights. It is important to know how to go about getting legal advice. There are a number of resources available for people who are victims of discrimination, particularly discrimination in the workplace.
The first thing on your agenda is to contact an attorney who specializes in employment law. You should be able to search the bar association for your state to find out how to contact these attorneys. If finances are a problem, you might be able to get legal assistance from legal aid.
Secondly, set up an appointment with the attorney of your choice from the list that you have compiled from the bar association. It also might be a great idea to make a few appointments with a few lawyers, as it is important to find an attorney who you are comfortable with. Most lawyers will offer the first appointment free of charge.
Next, you need to give the attorney as many details as possible at your appointment so that he or she has a clear idea on how to proceed. The lawyer should have an idea of how to handle the situation after he or she has all the information. The beauty of the first appointment being free of charge is that you will establish if there is a case and you won’t be out of pocket.
And lastly, you should consider making an appointment with a Legal Aid attorney as some may take your case on and your costs might not amount to very much at all. Legal Aid carry out a means test and there are certain cases that they will not take. Discrimination cases are not one of them. So you could be looking at getting you case heard and resolved, free of charge.
Some workplaces have legal representation for their employees and sometimes these kinds of complaints are managed within the workplace by using other methods to resolve the issue. Large companies and government agencies will often have facilities within their human resources department to assist victims of discrimination. In-house counseling is sometimes offered and mediation services are often used in these circumstances too.
It would be wise to consider asking a private attorney to handle your case, because these attorneys specialize in employment law and they work on these cases every day, some will pay a contingency fee. This means that you do not owe them a fee, unless you win the case.
One last detail that should be pointed out is the law has a statute of limitations on employee discrimination. These laws would vary from state to state and your attorney would be able to advise you about these time frames, but given the time limits on employment law, it would be advisable to get legal advice as soon as possible.