People who think unlawful discrimination in this day and age is not a problem are wrong. Unlawful discrimination is occurring every day. Employers still make judgments using stereotypes based upon a person’s race, national origin, age, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, etc. The main thing that has changed about unlawful discrimination in the workplace is that employers generally understand it is illegal to discriminate based upon a person’s race, gender, age, or religion, so today discrimination is more hidden. Employers who are racist are more careful about using racial slurs in front of employees. Supervisors who sexually harass their employees know to do it when there are no witnesses. Commonly, now when somebody is fired because their boss thinks they are too old, the reason is hidden. Proving unlawful discrimination in a civil suit can be difficult because now employers know to try and cover it up, so they won’t get caught.
When an employee believes they may be getting unlawfully discriminated against, and they want to stand up and fight the unlawful discrimination, they need to contact a professional to help them maneuver through the potential pitfalls of taking on such a battle. Furthermore, many of the best plaintiff’s employment law firms in the Los Angeles area will consult for free. An employee who works in the Los Angeles area who makes a decision that they want to challenge unlawful discrimination needs to contact an experienced, knowledgeable employment discrimination lawyer in the Los Angeles area for help. Remember, if you decide to sue, your employer will likely have the help of a corporate defense law firm that knows how to cover-up discrimination.
Some basic mistakes employees make when challenging unlawful discrimination are: (1) they only complain orally; (2) they don’t seek the help of an experienced employment law attorney and discrimination attorney los angeles, before writing a complaint letter; (3) they trust the human resources department far too much; (4) they do not preserve evidence; and (5) they do not get statements from coworkers with the help of an experienced employment discrimination attorneys los Angeles. First, if you are going to complain about unlawful discrimination, do it in writing. Complaining orally means you may receive all the retaliation for your complaint, but later your employer can lie and say you never complained. It is common for an employer to retaliate against an employee once they make a complaint about unlawful discrimination, and if the complaint is not in writing it may be difficult to prove the complaint ever happened if you employer is willing to lie. Typically, employers who are being sued will lie about anything that is not in writing or documented somehow. Remember, once you sue your employer, you should be prepared to deal with your employer coming up with a whole host of lies to explain the discrimination. A good rule to follow is if it’s not in writing, expect your employer to say it never happened.
Second, always contact an experienced and knowledgable employment law attorney before writing a complaint letter. Remember, not all complaints are legally protected, so writing a complaint letter about issues that are not legally protected may result in you getting terminated without any legal remedy. An experienced employment attorney can help you draft a complaint letter that will provide you with legal protection from retaliation, so if you get retaliated against, you will be able to show you made a legally protected complaint. Additionally, complaint letters should be direct, so the complaint that is being made is obvious and unambiguous. Many times minority employees complain about racial discrimination by writing a letter that never specifically states they are complaining about racial discrimination. Always be direct and state what form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation you are complaining about (i.e. race, age, gender, religious, disability, sexual orientation, or etc.)
Third, don’t completely trust human resources. Remember, they have a dual role to both serve the interests of their employer and also help employees. Commonly, human resource employees in a civil suit are the biggest liars. While you should not prejudge and completely distrust human resource employees, be aware that their motive may be to cover-up the unlawful discrimination, rather help you. Make sure your complaints are in writing, and if you communicate by email always make a copy and save them. It is always good to draft a complaint letter with the help of an attorney before a meeting with human resources, so you can provide the letter at the meeting, and they cannot lie or mischaracterize what was complained about. Also, don’t let a human resource employee tell you that you don’t need to complain in writing, or that you should not complain. Document your complaint by sending your complaint letter by certified mail or email after consulting with an attorney about how to complain.
Fourth, remember if you get fired unexpectedly, you may no longer have access to emails or other evidence to prove the discrimination, so save copies of the documents that can help you prove discrimination occured. It is common for employees to be fired and then their access to their company email account is cutoff, so they cannot print out emails or other documents that prove the discrimination. Copy the documents and save them as things occur, so if you get fired you will have them for your civil suit.
Fifth, if your coworkers witnessed the unlawful discrimination or harassment try to get them to write you a statement as to what they witnessed. Remember, that once you are fired your coworkers may be less likely to help, so strike while the “irons hot.” It is also important that you contact an experienced employment law attorney before you get the statement, so the attorney can explain the important facts that should appear in the statement. Don’t just leave it up to the coworker to write the statement, help them by informing them what important facts should be in the statement after speaking to an attorney.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, and need to contact an employment discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles, many will consult with you for free. Many employment law firms in the Los Angeles area have phone numbers to call where you can speak to a representative who can offer help and information for free.