Charlotte Discrimination Lawyer
Experiencing discrimination in the workplace might be difficult to identify at first, as you might not expect something like that to happen to you. While you might think that workplace discrimination is rare, the statistics speak otherwise. An experienced Charlotte discrimination lawyer from The Fuller Law Firm, P.C. is available to review your case to determine what laws might provide you a right to file a claim.
The North Carolina Offices of State Human Resources provides a generous resource of information about the broad categories of discrimination that are illegal for employers to engage in against workers. If you have been discriminated against at work due to membership in a protected class, you could have a claim to collect compensation to recover any financial loss you may have experienced including lost earnings and potentially other damages.
Employees in “At-Will-Employment” States like NC are Still Protected Against Discrimination
The state of North Carolina supports employment-at-will. As detailed by the North Carolina Department of Labor, employment-at-will means that employment is:
- Without specific laws to protect employees or
- Or without an employment contract that details otherwise
Under NC employment laws an employer can treat its employees as it sees fit (including the assignment of demeaning tasks) and the employer can discharge the employee at will for no or any reason at all. The freedoms of the employer in NC include “the assignment of demanding tasks” to the employee. At the same time, an employee can also leave their employment at will, without providing a reason, at any time, without a law or contract determining otherwise. However, employers are not allowed to discharge employees for discriminatory reasons. Employees with questions regarding at-will employment should speak with a Charlotte discrimination lawyer at The Fuller Law Firm.
Protected Classes of Employees in North Carolina
Determining when your employer’s behavior falls under one of these discriminatory categories can be difficult to prove. The difficulty of knowing how to collect and put evidence to work in favor of your case underlines the value of working with an experienced Charlotte discrimination lawyer. With a winning track record and decades of combined experience, The Fuller Law Firm, P.C. knows how to collect the evidence you need to present the best case possible.
A variety of laws determine what classes are protected by law, as clarified by the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, including the following categories:
When age discrimination occurs, either an employee or even a prospective employee/applicant is treated less favorably as a result of their age. To protect persons aged 40 or over, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) details the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as being meant to “promote employment of older persons based on their ability rather than their age; to prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment; to help employers and workers find ways of meeting problems arising from the impact of age on employment.”
Persons under the age of 40 are not protected under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and North Carolina law does not have any specific provisions to protect these workers. In fact, it is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are over the age of 40. Identifying when you have a claim for workplace discrimination based on age can be difficult and requires a thorough understanding of how the law applies to unique situations and circumstances. This is where a Charlotte discrimination lawyer at The Fuller Law Firm can help.
The Americans with Disabilities Act applies in North Carolina and protects workers who are disabled from being unduly discriminated against in the workplace. This is not to say that an employer must simply hire an employee regardless of whether or not they are capable of performing the essential functions of the job. Instead, employers are allowed the freedom to not hire individuals who are incapable of performing the essential function of the job, with some limitations.
Employers in certain instances are required to attempt to make “reasonable accommodations” to compensate for the disability of the employee. Some accommodations are protected by statute like handicap access or ramps, while others might be arguably “reasonable” or “unreasonable”. Determining whether a requested accommodation is reasonable or unreasonable could mean the difference between a disabled person obtaining or being denied a job and receiving a promotion in rank and pay or being kept in the same position.
While the ADA provides a foundation for your right to file a claim in the event you have been discriminated against based upon disability, North Carolina case law will also be put to work on your behalf by your Charlotte discrimination attorney from The Fuller Law Firm, P.C.
Genetic Information is Protected Against Discrimination
Through Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), discrimination based on genetic information is effectively prohibited under federal law. Genetic information is defined as the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, in addition to information concerning the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual’s family members.
Through GINA, it is illegal to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their genetic information in terms of employment decisions. “Covered entities”, employers and other entities including employment agencies, labor organizations, and joint labor-management training and apprenticeship programs, are restricted from:
- Requesting genetic information about employees or applicants
- Requiring genetic information on their employees or applicants
- Purchasing genetic information about employees or prospective employees
Additionally, the disclosure of genetic information is also strongly limited in terms of employers’ actions toward employees.
The experience of workplace discrimination based on national origin happens when employees or applicants are treated unfavorably because they are from a particular country or region of the world, because of their ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to have a particular ethnic background, even if they do not, in fact, have that background.
Proving discrimination based on national origin can be difficult and often requires the use of legal instruments such as depositions and requests for information. Gathering the information you’ll need to win a workplace discrimination case can often be extremely difficult to do on your own, especially since you are the victim. Making the decision to work with a Charlotte discrimination lawyer can ensure that the outcome of your case is as favorable as possible while removing the stress and uncertainty of the process from your daily life.
As explained by the NCOSHR, race discrimination is the unfavorable treatment of an employee or applicant because they are:
- Of a certain race
- Exhibit personal characteristics associated with race
In other words, race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion. Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color or because of a person’s connection with a race-based organization or group, or an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are of the same race or color.
Whistleblowers are Protected Under State and Federal Statutes
If you believe that your termination was a result of your having reported illegal, unethical, or other behaviors of your employer, you could be entitled to compensation. Whether or not you have a claim depends upon whether the activity that you reported falls under one of the protected reporting categories such as those identified under OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program. These categories include:
- Reporting violations of workplace safety and health conditions
- Reporting issues with consumer products
- Reporting issues with environmental factors
- Reporting issues with motor vehicle safety
As you can see on our About Us page, founding partner Trevor Fuller is licensed to practice in several states and U.S. District Courts across the United States. The decades of experience of Trevor and his team of experienced attorneys will be put to work on your behalf to identify the legal foundations and similar whistleblower case outcomes necessary to make the most of your claim.
Connect with a Charlotte Discrimination Lawyer from The Fuller Law Firm, P.C.
If you have been discriminated against in your workplace, you may have a claim for compensation. Knowing when you have a claim, how to collect evidence to incorporate into drafting the claim, as well as knowing when and where to file the claim are all difficult questions that you’ll need the answers to in order to advance your case.
While employees who have experienced discrimination in the workplace may be able to study the law and local cases and procedures enough to bring a case, that does not change the fact that your former employer will likely have a team of experienced attorneys to oppose you. When you have a Charlotte discrimination attorney on your side from The Fuller Law Firm, you can rest assured that your rights will be defended, and the outcome of your case will be maximized.
To learn how we can help with your workplace discrimination case, give us a call at (704) 659-5600, or visit our site to schedule a consultation.