Have You Experienced Discrimination at Work?

Unlawful discrimination includes an employer’s refusal to hire, termination, or other materially adverse action on the basis of your protected classification(s).

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Employment Discrimination

You have a right be employed free from discrimination on the basis of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or disability. Discrimination takes many forms, and can include unjust termination, failure to hire, failure to promote, unequal pay, harassment that negatively affects your working conditions, and failure to accommodate a disability. Discrimination can be directed at one person in particular, or against a whole class of people.

Federal and State Laws

Numerous federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against current and prospective employees. At the federal level, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or pregnancy status. Courts have interpreted Title VII to also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to prohibit sexual harassment and other forms of harassment that is based on your protected characteristics. The Equal Pay Act makes it illegal to pay different wages on the basis of sex to people who perform equal work in the same workplace. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects people age 40 and over from discrimination on the basis of their age. The Americans with Disabilities Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against qualified people with disabilities, and in requires employers to reasonably accommodate known disabilities of otherwise qualified applicants or employees, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship for the employer. At the state level, the Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, familial status, and age.

These laws generally also prohibit your employer from retaliating against you because you raised a complaint of discrimination to your boss or human resources, because you participated in an investigation in support of a coworker, or because you filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR).

Know Your Rights

If you have suffered unlawful discrimination at work, courts can order a variety of remedies, which may include injunctive relief (i.e., an order that your employer stop discriminating or offer reasonable accommodations), back pay, front pay, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and in some cases, compensatory and punitive damages.

You should not delay in raising concerns about discrimination. There are statutes of limitations within which you must pursue your claim or forfeit your right to do so, which may be as short as 300 days from the act or acts of discrimination.

We Represented Employees

Miller O’Brien Jensen has represented employees who have suffered many forms of discrimination. We give thoughtful direction to our clients about the risks and rewards of litigation, carefully considering your needs and desires as well as the legal landscape. When litigation becomes necessary, our employment litigators are unwavering in the pursuit of justice.