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 went to the EEOC to discuss my seperation with my employers. They agreed it was unfair but could not help me because we didn't have over 16 employees in the office.(only 9) They suggested I contact an attorney, however when contacting those on the list I was given they all wanted a consultation fee of 300. or more. Is there an attorney I would talk to just to see what my rights are at no charge. I am still un-employed after 6 months!
    • What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
    • If I think that you have a "disability," what "reasonable accommodation" does your company have to make?
    • How old do you have to be to get a job in Peoria, Arizona and/or Phoenix, Arizona
    • At work i am being verbally harassed via email and in person is there any way that i have a case against someone with this it is not racial or sexual it is explicit and rude!I will be quitting and need to know what to do this company is known to sue people when they leave for nothing. i want to see if he comes after me if i have a leg to stand on in court with the emails saved and recordings of his abuse verbally>
    • Can a employer ask for my age and social security number on an online application before I have been offered job and hired?
    • 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 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 .
    • CAN A COWORKER MAKE DESCRININATING REMARKS,ABOUT RACES
    • Do I have a case if I have been discrinated against and denied a job due to a disability?

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    • State Bar of Arizona
      www.azbar.org
    • Maricopa County Bar
      www.maricopabar.org
      Referral number 602-257-4434
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      www.pimacountybar.org
      Referral number 520-623-4625
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