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Worcester Employee Discrimination Attorney Fighting For Your Rights in the Workplace

discriminationThere is nothing more demeaning than being treated differently just because of who you are or what you’re going through – especially when your job is on the line.

Workplace discrimination is illegal in Massachusetts and under Federal Law. It creates a toxic work environment, and even more importantly, it is morally wrong.

But even though discrimination is clearly unlawful, it isn’t always easy to prove.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have a case, that your situation is hopeless, or that you simply have to accept discrimination as a fact of life. On the contrary, people successfully fight back against hostile and discriminatory workplace conditions all the time.

What it does mean, however, is that it is in your best interest to get an experienced Worcester Employee Discrimination Attorney on your side.

At MA Employment Lawyers, we spend every day fighting for the rights of mistreated employees like you. Our legal team has a combined 40 years of experience in fighting back against bias, prejudice, harassment, and unfair treatment in Massachusetts workplaces.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of discrimination at your job – even if you aren’t entirely sure – please read the rest of this webpage and then give our office a call. We’re here to help you. It’s what we do.

What Is Employment Discrimination?

Employers subject their employees to discrimination in a variety of different ways.  Federal and Massachusetts law prohibits discrimination based on your race, gender, national origin, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and disability.

Federal and Massachusetts law also prohibits discrimination based on your association with someone of a certain race, gender, national origin, color, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and disability.

We’ll take a closer look at various forms of illegal employment discrimination in the section to follow.

Which Types of Employer Discrimination Are Illegal?

As a general rule, your employer can fire you for any reason at any time – unless you have a contract that says otherwise, or the reason for your termination is illegal (as is the case with discrimination). Discussing your situation with a knowledgeable Worcester Employee Discrimination Lawyer is critical.

For example, your employer cannot fire you on the basis of:

  • Race or Color – Race discrimination can take many forms, from firing or refusing to hire someone because of their race (the most obvious form) to less obvious forms of discrimination such as treating a minority employee differently or denying them advancement opportunities.
  • Gender – If you’ve been passed over, fired, or treated differently because you are a woman or because of your gender, you may have a claim for employment discrimination. Employers are not even permitted to treat employees differently because of stereotypes or assumptions about gender.
  • National Origin – The United States is home to people from all over the world. No matter where you were born, you deserve to be treated with equality at your job.
  • Age– The Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) applies to employees over the age of 40 and protects them from unfair treatment and/or termination because of their age.
  • Religion – Numerous state and federal rules prohibit religious discrimination in the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among other things, employers are generally required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious practices and beliefs (unless they show that doing so would be unreasonably burdensome).
  • Pregnancy – Unfortunately, there is a long history of employers denying career opportunities to women for fear that they might become pregnant. But your gender, your pregnancy, and your maternity leave are protected from discrimination by law. Many of these protections extend to other family responsibilities as well (including, in some cases, to men who provide some form of family care). A Massachusetts employment discrimination lawyer in our office can help.
  • Sexual Orientation – Discrimination against LGBTQ employees continues to be one of the most pressing gay rights concerns in America. Many state and federal laws apply to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Disability – In addition to several helpful provisions under Massachusetts law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides powerful protection to disabled applicants and employees.
  • Political Affiliation (in some cases) – Discrimination on the basis of your political beliefs or statements, or your party registration, is a complex issue. How the law applies to your situation may depend on the nature of your employment and the details of your situation. We encourage you to contact our office and discuss your situation with a Worcester Employee Discrimination Lawyer to learn more.

Don’t Lose Your Rights as the Victim of Discrimination

It is common for someone subjected to discrimination to be reluctant to discuss the incident or file a formal complaint. If you are subjected to discrimination at your place of employment, you need to talk to a Worcester employee discrimination lawyer as quickly as possible to preserve your right to file a complaint or sue for damages.

Massachusetts law imposes an extremely short statute of limitations for filing a discrimination complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. You only have 300 days from the date of the last act or incident to file a complaint. If you delay, you lose your right to file a discrimination lawsuit against the offending party.

Even if the 300-day statute of limitations has expired, it is important to obtain legal advice from a knowledgeable and skilled discrimination law attorney because there are circumstances under which the right to sue might be preserved. For example, it might be more than 300 days since you were terminated from your job, based upon what you later discovered was discrimination. Depending upon when you discovered the true reason for your termination, you might have 300 days from the date of discovery to file a discrimination complaint.

An analysis by a Worcester employee discrimination lawyer of the facts and circumstances surrounding the discrimination might reveal evidence to support equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. The law protects individuals whose physical or mental competency prohibits them from complying with the 300-day statute of limitations. If you were incapable of filing a formal complaint within 300 days of the discrimination because of your age, health, or for other reasons amounting to good cause, the time could be extended.

The complexity of the statute of limitations makes it essential to have legal representation by an employee discrimination attorney. The fact that you complied with the 300-day statute of limitations does not protect your right to sue for damages. Under state law, a lawsuit must be filed within three years from the date of the discrimination to preserve your right to compensation.

Your attorney can advise you about time limits for filing discrimination claims under various federal statutes. For instance, complaints about discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must be filed within 180 days from when the discrimination occurred. The best way to avoid missing a state or federal deadline is to seek legal advice immediately after the discrimination takes place.

Contact MA Employment Lawyers Today

If you think you have been discriminated against, an experienced Worcester Employee Discrimination Attorney is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us get to work for you.