If your employer or senior manager has discriminated against you at work, you can take legal action against them. The laws on discrimination prevent employers from prejudice and ensure that workers are hired based on merit. If you want to file a discrimination claim, you will not only need to hire an experienced employment lawyer, but you also need to be well informed.

Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding workplace discrimination.

What Is Workplace Discrimination?

Discrimination occurs when a person is treated differently than other employees. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful to discriminate when hiring, promoting, discharging, or referring an employee based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. The law on discrimination based on this Act is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The U.S. Supreme Court has also ruled that the Civil Rights Act on discrimination applies to LGBTQ employees. According to this ruling, employers shouldn't discriminate against employees based on their sexual orientation.

Some of the other laws that prohibit discrimination include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, The Equal Pay Act of 1963, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Discrimination involves anything from unfair treatment, harassment, denial of workplace change, and retaliation for taking a protected action against an employer.

What Do You Need to Prove Workplace Discrimination?

You can prove workplace discrimination using direct and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence includes statements by superior employees that are related to the discriminatory action taken against you. For example, your superior or employer may tell you that you'll have to be laid off because you're near your retirement age. In such a situation, the evidence in the form of verbal statements in letters or notes will prove the cause of your unfair termination.

Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence. Employers and their supervisors hardly express their prejudices, making it hard to obtain direct evidence. In many cases, employees rely on circumstantial evidence to build their case. For example, where an elderly employee is fired, and a younger one takes their place. The elderly employee can claim discrimination based on age. 

How Do You File a Claim for Workplace Discrimination?

You can file a charge of employment discrimination online through the EEOC public portal. Alternatively, you can visit EEOC offices and file a claim. EEOC will first investigate your charge before taking any measures against your employer. You should take with you any documentation that will help EEOC understand your case.

For example, if you have been fired because of poor performance, you should submit any notice explaining why you were fired. You should also provide the names and contact information of any witnesses who know what happened. It's also essential that your employment lawyer accompany you to the EEOC offices.

For more ifnormation, contact an employment attorney.