Discrimination in the Workplace
When you are looking for work, you expect employers to make the choice as to whether to hire you or not based on your qualifications and level of skill. On the job, we hope that our competence and abilities will be rewarded with raises and promotions. While many workplaces operate in this matter, there are still employers out there who make hiring choices and decisions based on their own stereotypes. Many different types of people may find themselves confronting discrimination at work and in job interviews. Workplace discrimination comes in many forms, and can have a host of negative consequence for the employee. Here is what you need to know about workplace discrimination, and what you can do if you suspect discrimination is taking place.
Types of Workplace Discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under both state and federal laws. In South Carolina, the S.C. Human Affairs Law protects workers from being unfairly treated or harassed on the job. The law helps to protect employees against discrimination based on the following factors:
- Sexual orientation
- National origin
The law also protects pregnant women from being discriminated against and suffering negative consequences at work simply for becoming pregnant or for taking maternity leave. The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission enforces the Human Affairs Law and investigates all claims of employment discrimination, as well as non-employment discrimination and issues related to fair housing practices. Often, the Commission will attempt mediation with both parties in an attempt to solve disputes. If mediation is not an option or does not offer resolution, the matter may be referred to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Remedies for Employment Discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces job discrimination laws on the federal level. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws. The EEOC, like the S.C. Human Affairs Commission, investigates complaints regarding discrimination in the workplace. Regardless of which office investigates the claim, the remedies for workplace discrimination are the same. If discrimination is found to have taken place, the goal would be:
- To put the employee in the same position as they would have been if no discrimination had taken place;
- To reimburse the employee for any compensation or benefits they should have received;
- To require the employer to stop discriminatory practices; and
- To require the employer to take steps to ensure discrimination does not occur in the future.
In addition to the above, employees who have been discriminated against may file a lawsuit seeking damages. Victims of discrimination may be compensated for lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. They may also seek punitive damages, meant to punish the employer for wrongdoing.
Contact Our Experienced South Carolina Attorneys Today
There are statutes of limitations associated with discrimination cases. If you or someone you know has been a victim of workplace discrimination, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm immediately. Our experienced South Carolina attorneys will fight for your rights, and get you the compensation you deserve. If you need professional assistance, call us today for a free review of your case.