3 Requirements For Federal Employment Discrimination Cases
August 23, 2022
If you believe you have been discriminated against at work, you must understand the legal framework for advancing your case. Federal law and case law puts the burden of proof on the employee for proving unlawful discrimination, and federal employment cases are driven by (1) Pre-litigation EEOC administrative filings (2) Strict Deadlines and (3) Evidence.
The key law in federal employment discrimination cases is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also known as “Title VII”.
Title VII prohibits an employer from ‘discriminat[ing] against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.’ 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Title VII also prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee ‘because he has opposed any practice made an unlawful employment practice by this subchapter, or because he has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.’ 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a).
Section 2000e-2 states that:
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Requirement 1: Pre-litigation EEOC administrative filing. If you want to sue your employer for violating federal employment discrimination laws, there are steps you must first take before you can file a lawsuit with Title VII allegations. Before you can sue your employer for violations of Title VII, you must get permission from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the “EEOC”. The EEOC enforces federal laws against job discrimination and harassment. There is no cost to file an EEOC Charge of Discrimination. After you file your EEOC Charge of Discrimination, the EEOC will either offer mediation or investigation into your allegations. During EEOC investigations, you must preserve all evidence for your case. Ultimately, if your case lacks substantial evidence for the EEOC to make a determination in your favor, you must get permission from the EEOC to advance your case to court. This permission to go to court is called an EEOC Right to Sue Notice.
Requirement 2: Strict Deadlines. If you believe your employer is discriminating against you, you should not delay. Filing a job discrimination complaint carries very strict deadlines. In some cases, you only have 180 days to report discrimination to the EEOC. You have 300 days if your complaint is also covered by a state or local anti-discrimination law. After the EEOC issues a Right to Sue Notice, you only have 90 days to file a federal employment discrimination lawsuit. If you are a day late in filing your federal employment discrimination lawsuit, your case can get dismissed as a late filing. Unless a judge grants you a fee waiver, there is a $402 cost to file your federal employment discrimination lawsuit.
Requirement 3: Evidence. To be successful in a federal employment discrimination case, you must be able to prove that discrimination has occurred and not just base your case on your feelings. The EEOC and the court will expect you to provide evidence that discrimination occurred. The key way to prove a federal employment discrimination case was explained in a 1973 case – McDonnell Douglas v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973). To make an initial case under McDonell Douglas, an employee must show: (1) he belongs to a protected class; (2) he met his employer’s legitimate expectations; (3) he suffered an adverse employment action; and (4) another similarly situated employee outside of his protected class received better treatment from his employer.
If you would like to hire an employment attorney to help you navigate your federal employment discrimination case, Pietrucha Law Firm, LLCoffers legal representation to both employees and corporations. Schedule an initial telephone consultation with our team today.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.