Despite the attention given to discrimination in the workplace and the laws, both federal and state, enacted to prevent it, discrimination remains a pervasive issue for workers and a liability for employers. If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination or are facing an employment discrimination claim, consulting with an experienced Illinois employment lawyer is a wise choice.
At S.T. Legal Group, Attorney Diana Taylor fights vigorously for her clients’ rights, whether they are employees who have been discriminated against or employers wrongly accused of discrimination. Well-grounded in legal knowledge, Diana has the complex skill set to tackle workplace discrimination cases through deft negotiations outside of the courtroom and sharp litigation within its walls.
What exactly is employment discrimination?
Any employment decisions based on legally protected characteristics are considered discriminatory. Employment decisions include those involving:
- Wage and hours
- Working space and conditions
- Employment duties
- Wrongful termination
According to federal and state law, harassment is considered a form of discrimination.
Categories Protected Against Employment Discrimination in Illinois
Under state law, employers cannot make employment decisions (e.g. hiring, firing, compensating, promoting, training), based on protected characteristics, such as:
- National origin or ancestry
- Sexual orientation or identity
- Citizenship status
- Age (40 and over)
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Pregnancy, childbirth, nursing status
- Order of protection status
- Physical or mental disability
- Arrest record
- Veteran or military status
Also, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file discrimination complaints or lawsuits. Although you may feel like an underdog now, contacting us will empower you. Once we take you on as a client, we will work hard to give you the upper hand. If you are an employer who has been unjustly confronted by a disgruntled employee, we will help protect your financial interests and your reputation.
Federal Laws Against Workplace Discrimination
It is possible to trace the progress of the civil rights movement by checking out federal anti-discrimination laws and the years of their passage as noted below:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion and has been expanded by the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as well.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 outlaws discrimination based on age (40 years old and over).
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy in any employment decision.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants and employees with disabilities.
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 protects employees from discrimination based on their genetic information.
It should be noted that most federal laws against employment discrimination apply only to companies with 15 or more employees, (20 in the case of ADEA), while state and local laws are more inclusive.
How the State of Illinois Adds Further Protection Against Employment Discrimination
With the passage of the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) of 2020, not only were more protected categories added, but businesses with only one employee were also prohibited from engaging in employment discrimination. The IHRA also provides increased protection for disabled employees by using a broader definition of “disability” or “handicap.” Also, Illinois state law makes “aiding and abetting” discrimination illegal.
S.T. Legal Group Offers Legal Know-How and Moral Support
When you come to S.T. Legal Group for legal counsel and representation, you will be pleased to find Diana Taylor as compassionate as she is competent. Services she provides include:
- Listening to your story carefully to evaluate whether you or your employee has a viable claim
- Assisting you in gathering evidence (e.g. written materials, witness accounts)
- Being keenly aware of ways your employer/employee may try to cover his/her tracks
- Helping you (if you are the plaintiff) to file a claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”)– a necessary precursor to pursuing an employment discrimination lawsuit
- Filing a lawsuit against your employer or working hard to defend you against your employee if the situation is not resolved through negotiations
If your case goes to litigation, Diana has the legal prowess to help you confront the challenges you face and the intelligence to create a first-rate courtroom strategy.
Damages We May Be Able to Recover for You if You Have Been Discriminated Against
Though as an employee, you may feel like David fighting the Goliath of your company, we have the tactical skills to level the playing field. Depending on the particular circumstances of your case, we may be able to obtain damages for you, such as:
- Back wages or owed bonuses
- Lost health and/or pension benefits
- Emotional distress
- Costs for necessary counseling or therapy
- Court costs and attorneys’ fees
If your employer’s misconduct has been especially egregious, involving, for example, physical threats or public humiliation, the court may also award you punitive damages to punish your employer and deter others from engaging in similarly repugnant conduct.
How We Can Defend You Against Charges of Discrimination
If the charges against you and your company are false, our law firm will work vigorously to disprove the allegations and hold your accuser accountable.
Contact Our Deerfield Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Diana Taylor is well aware that employment discrimination threatens not only your civil rights but your reputation and your livelihood. Realizing how high the stakes are, she will support you every step of the way and will pull out all the stops in her efforts to win you a just outcome. Contact S.T. Legal Group today to evaluate your case.