Civil rights laws protect individuals against discriminatory behavior on the part of private actors, as well as protecting individuals against government abuses. A number of civil rights laws affect the employee/employer relationship including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If your company is accused of harassment or discriminatory behavior, this can have very serious consequences. You may face administrative action on the part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as a lawsuit by the party who was allegedly the victim of discrimination. Your business could be responsible for compensating the victim for losses, including compensation for mental anguish, even if the civil rights violations were committed by your employee’s peers rather than individuals in a managerial or executive position.
Civil rights litigation cases are high stakes cases where your company’s money and reputation are both at stake. It is essential that you have a knowledgeable litigation attorney representing you. Sepahi Law Group, APC has extensive experience representing clients both in the negotiation of out-of-court settlements as well as in a trial setting. Call today to speak with a member of our legal team and to learn more about how our civil rights litigation attorneys can represent you.
Understanding Civil Rights Litigation
Your company may be accused of violations of Civil Rights laws for overt discrimination, such as refusing to hire people of a given race or gender. Sexual harassment, including quid pro quo harassment cases, also fall within the broader category of civil rights litigation.
However, there are also other types of civil rights cases where the issues become much murkier. For example, hostile work environment discrimination cases arise when a worker is made uncomfortable as a result of his protected status.
A worker who feels as though coworkers are creating an unpleasant work environment because of race, gender, religion, national origin or other protected status could sue your company and try to make your business responsible. When this type of litigation occurs, it is essential to demonstrate that your business had policies in place designed to prevent the creation of a hostile work environment. If you had a viable procedure in place for the employee to make a grievance and the employee chose not to act, you could potentially avoid legal liability.
Disparate impact cases are another complex type of civil rights litigation. A disparate impact case arises when your business has a facially neutral employment requirement that has an unfair impact on members of a protected class. For example, a test of strength that ends up disqualifying more women could give rise to a disparate impact case. Defending yourself in such cases involves demonstrating a bona fide occupational need for the job requirement or showing that no disparate impact occurred.
Getting Help With Civil Rights Litigation
These are just two examples of types of civil rights cases that your company could face. It is imperative that you understand how the laws apply to your business and that you are proactive in protecting yourself from a lawsuit. If a claim against your business does arise, contact the Sepahi Law Group, APC right away for help defending your company’s good name.