Unlawful and Discriminatory Harassment
Have you experienced severe or frequent harassment at work based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), age (40 or older), or disability?
Do your colleagues or supervisors call you names, make derogatory comments or jokes about you, or treat you worse than other employees on a regular basis because of your race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), age (40 or older), or disability?
Have you been sexually assaulted or propositioned at work?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have been subjected to unlawful harassment in the workplace.
What should you do?
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that in many circumstances, employees need to take advantage of any preventative or corrective opportunities provided by the employer by reporting discriminatory harassment internally to the company.Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998); Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998).
What if the harassment doesn’t stop after I file an internal complaint?
You can file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Arizona Civil Rights Division (ACRD) of the Attorney General’s Office. Here is their contact information below. If you need help filling out your charge, you can request to meet with an Investigator for an intake interview.
3300 North Central Avenue, Suite 690
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Telephone: (602) 640-5000
TTY: (602) 640-5072
Website (national): www.eeoc.gov
1275 W. Washington, Phoenix, Arizona, 85007
Telephone: (602) 542-5263
TDD: (602) 542-5002
Toll Free: (877) 491-5742
Toll Free TDD: (877) 624-8090
What if my employer retaliates against me for submitting a complaint regarding discriminatory harassment?
It is unlawful for employers to retaliate or take adverse action against employees for reporting harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), age (40 or older), or disability. You can file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC or the ACRD at the addresses above and allege retaliation in your Charge in addition to harassment or wrongful conduct based on any of the other categories of discrimination listed.
What is the timeframe for filing a Charge of Discrimination?
The time when you must file a Charge of Discrimination varies based on the size of your employer, the type of discrimination, and the actions taken by the employer.
If the employer has more than 15 employees and you allege discriminated based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and/or disability in Arizona or more than 20 employees and you allege discrimination based on age:
· If you believe the employer discriminated by taking a discrete action against you such as, for example, terminating you, failing to promote you, denying your transfer request, refusing to hire you, or demoting you, then you have 300 days from the date of the discrete action to file a Charge of Discrimination.
· If you believe the employer subjected you to unlawful harassment and a continuous history of related discriminatory activity that resulted in a hostile work environment, at least one act in the continuous history of harassment must fall within the 300-day period to file a Charge of Discrimination
If the employer has less than 15 employees but more than one employee and you allege sexual harassment, you have 180 days from the alleged harm to file a Charge with the Civil Rights Division at the Arizona Attorney General's Office.
If the employer has more than 15 employees and less than 20 employees and you allege age discrimination, you must file a Charge of Discrimination with the Civil Rights Division at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office within 180 days of the alleged harm.
Federal employees and job applicants have a different complaint process, and generally must contact an agency EEO Counselor within 45 days.
Contributing Attorney: Meenoo Chahbazi litigates labor and employment law claims. She is a partner at Robaina & Kresin PLLC.
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