Discrimination on the Job Article


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).

  • Look at your employer’s handbook and policies and try to find the anti-harassment or discrimination policy.
  • Submit an internal complaint in writing to the supervisors, Human Resources officers, or individuals listed in your employer’s harassment or discrimination policies as authorized recipients of complaints.
  • If your employer’s policies do not specify who you should submit your complaint to, put your complaint in writing and submit it to the Human Resources department and high-level managers.  If there is no Human Resources department, submit your written complaint to multiple high-level managers.
  • 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. 

    (1)          EEOC

                            3300 North Central Avenue, Suite 690

                            Phoenix, Arizona 85012

                            Telephone: (602) 640-5000

                            TTY: (602) 640-5072

                            Website (national): www.eeoc.gov

     

    (2)              ACRD

                            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.

     


    Comments:

    QUESTIONS

    • I was working as a health care worker and a patient didn't trust me because i was a new employee. So he made a big deal of everything making the environment difficult. I dont know whati did but he complained. My boss could have switched us out but he sent me back. He then says he could fire me and get my license took. I later find out that I resigned. I was an on call employee and he just stopped calling me in. No write ups, nothing. So i get a letter in the mail saying I quit. Do i have a case?
    • I was charged with a crime in 2007 and the district attorney never decided to file charges in time but this charge is on my record is preventing me from job oppourtunities what can I do
    • I was targeted by other staff who did not do their jobs according to policeys, I was responcible for menu/budget also medical appointments and to communicate care plans. other staff who did not want to follow Dr. driven diet plans or portion control complained I was bossie. Now my former employer is using these without merit complaints against me to block my eligibility for UC. Also the day of discharge i was in such shock that I signed the termination paper and it was not explained to me to also write in my side of said incident. Now that also is being used against me as evidence. any hope 4m
    • I have a right to sue letter from the EEOC I wanted more information and calrification on this letter and had a few other questions. I have a discrimination case with the EEOC and retaliation one as well
    • How old do you have to be to get a job
    • I AM NATIVE AMERICAN WITH LONG HAIR THAT IS PART MY BELIEFS AND SPIRITUAL CULTURE, I APPLIED FOR EMPLOYMENT AT THE STAE FAIR GROUNDS .I WAS TOLD THAT I COULD NHOT BE HIRED UNLESS I CUT MY HAIR,POLICY I WAS TOLD . I HAVE EMAILED FOR A COPY OF THIS POLICY WHICH I HAVENT RECIEVED. TO CUT MY IS A DISCRIMNATION ISSUE .
    • How do I know if my complaint as merit
    • When I apply for a job, should I tell them about my disability?
    • MANY TIMES AT WORK EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THEY CANNOT SPEAK IN THEIR PRIMARY LANGUAGE, MOSTLY ARE SPANISH SPEAKING PEOPLE, IS THERE A LAW THAT APPLIES TO THIS WHERE THE EMPLOYER CAN ORDER HIS EMPLOYEES NOT TO SPEAK IN SPANISH OR ANY OTHER LANGUAGE THAT THEY SPEAK??....
    • I was given a prescription by my doctor for pain from an automobile accident. I took my meds at work and was fired on the spot, even though I have a prescription,. and was told I was fired because I was taking medicine. Do I have grounds for legal action?

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