Why you might need a Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney

Employment discrimination laws address a wide range of personal issues including racial discrimination, age discrimination and harassment as well as employer mistakes made in the areas of job assignments, training and promoting.

Employment discrimination laws are complex. That’s why it’s important to talk with an attorney who understands the federal and state statutes that govern employer-employee relations. Practicing law since 1994 and having served as an Assistant United States Attorney, you can be sure Stefanie Moon knows the employment discrimination laws and your rights as an employee.

What areas do employment discrimination laws cover?

Federal employment discrimination laws are designed to protect employees from discrimination based upon race, gender, religion, national origin, age or physical disability. There is a growing body of law that also addresses employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Discriminatory bias has been demonstrated in the following areas:

• Recruiting & Posting Job Openings
• Hiring
• Transferring
• Job Assignment
• Assigning & Classifying Employees
• Testing & Training
• Promoting
• Compensation
• Fringe Benefits
• Retaliation
• Retirement & Disability Leave
• Termination
• Various Types of Harassment

The primary source of employment discrimination laws comes from federal and state statutes. These laws outline the specific procedures which must be followed in order to move forward with a claim of employment discrimination. The U.S. Constitution and some state constitutions provide additional protection where the employer is a governmental body or the government has taken significant steps to foster the discriminatory practice of the employer.

  1. Section 1981 of the U.S. Code provides the requisite elements for proving a disparate impact and allows a jury to award both compensatory and punitive damages when intentional discrimination has been found.
  2. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay.
  3. Equal Pay Act of 1963 provides that if workers perform equal work in jobs requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions, the workers must receive equal pay.
  4. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Sex includes pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, as well as sexual harassment.
  5. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 aims to promote and expand employment opportunities for handicapped individuals through the elimination of discrimination and affirmative action programs. The Act covers public and private sector employers.
  6. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are 40 years of age or older. The ADEA contains explicit guidelines for benefit, pension and retirement plans.
  7. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was enacted to address discrimination based upon physical or mental handicaps.
  8. Family Medical Leave Act guarantees time off to care for family members with specific health conditions without jeopardizing the worker’s employment.
  9. Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits discrimination based upon genetic information about an applicant, employee or former employee.

State statutes also provide extensive protection from employment discrimination, with some laws extending similar protection as provided by the federal acts. In Florida, the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) seeks to serve as the foremost resource for human relations in the state. The FCHR has a work-sharing agreement with the EEOC to help address issues of racial discrimination, age discrimination and all discrimination in the workplace throughout the state of Florida

Before a party can pursue a claim of employment discrimination in a civil lawsuit, they must file a discrimination charge with the EEOC and receive a “right to sue” letter from the agency. There are very specific time limitations for filing such claims.