Typically, to prevail on a discrimination claim, a victim must generally show (1) disparate treatment and a (2) disparate impact based on the alleged discriminatory conduct. An employer may have hiring policies that appear to be nondiscriminatory yet may be in violation of civil rights laws if the results of the practices have a discriminatory effect by restricting employment opportunities for some classes of employees. To be found in violation of civil rights laws, it is not necessary to show that the employer intended to discriminate. An employment policy must not intentionally or unintentionally result in elimination of certain groups of people, because experience has proved that in the absence of any other explanation, it is probable that those acts were based on impermissible considerations. Furnco Construction Corp. v. Waters, 438 U.S. 567 (1978). The experienced employment discrimination lawyers, employment lawyers, workplace discrimination lawyers as well as disability discrimination lawyers are expert in employment law. The eeoc lawyers of Justin London are experienced in EEOC discrimination laws and help in protecting rights of employee. The Law Office of Justin London provides discrimination lawyers in Chicago, Arizona and unlawful conduct lawyers that have experience and knowledge of the law to defend any employment discrimination cases. We also help you in finding employment discrimination retaliation lawyers for effective retaliation in any employee discrimination case.
To refut a claim of discrimination, an employer must be able to show that is selection or promotion of employees is non-discriminatory, that a challenged test, procedure, or requirement bears a “manifest relation to the employment in question,” and that it can be justified by a business necessity. Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1978).
Intentional discrimination under Title VII “is established when the complaining party demonstrates that race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was a motivating factor for any employment practice, even though other factors also motivated the practice.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(m). A plaintiff may prove intentional employment discrimination under federal statutes by a “direct method” or “indirect method.” . In the absence of direct evidence, a plaintiff can prevail through circumstantial evidence under a “direct method” by showing (1) suspicious timing, ambiguous statements, or behavior toward employees; (2) evidence that similarly situated employees were treated differently; or (3) evidence that the employee did not deserve the adverse action and that the employer’s reason for it is a pretext for discrimination.
Most employment discrimination cases are proven under an “indirect method,” where they are analyzed under a circumstantial evidence model, often referred to as the prima facie case standard. Under this standard, an employee must first show (1) membership in a protected group, (2) qualification for the position in question, (3) an adverse employment action, and (3) circumstances supporting an inference of discrimination. The burden of pr
Damages and Remedies
- Back pay is the most common form of relief. Back pay consists of wages , salary and fringe benefits the employee would have earned during the period of discrimination from the date of termination (or failure to promote), to the date of trial.
- Compensatory Damages are allowed for future loss, emotional distress, pain & suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish & loss of enjoyment of life. Caps are placed on compensatory damages according to the size of the employer. The limits on damages are as follows:
- Up to 100 employees: $50,000
- 101-200 employees: $100,000
- 201-500 employees: $200,000
- 500+ employees: $300,000
These caps apply only to individuals. In a class action situation, each plaintiff can be awarded the maximum amount specified for the size of their company.
- Attorney’s Fees may be awarded to the prevailing party.
- Punitive Damages are limited to cases where the "employer has engaged in intentional discrimination and has done so with malice or reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of an aggrieved individual." Kolstad v. American Dental Association, 119 S.Ct. 2118 (1999). These damages are capped according to the size of the employer and are the same as those listed above: Up to 100 employees: $50,000; 101-200 employees: $100,000; 201-500 employees: $200,000; 500+ employees: $300,000
- Front pay is designed to restore victims to their "rightful place". It compensates the victim for anticipated future losses due to discrimination.
- Injunctive relief is available when there is an intentional discriminatory employment practice. For instance, an employee can be reinstated and an employer can be ordered to prevent future discrimination.
Employees with disabilities are protected from discrimination by the American with Disabilities Act ("ADA"); 42 U.S.C. § 12102
In order for a plaintiff to be within the protected class under the ADA, the plaintiff must have a "disability" as defined by that statute. Weiler v. Household Finance Corp., 101 F.3d 519, 523 (7th Cir.1996); see also Homeyer v. Stanley Tulchin Assoc., 91 F.3d 959, 961 (7th Cir.1996). The ADA defines "disability" as:
(1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual;
(2) a record of such an impairment; or
(3) being regarded as having such an impairment.
Although the ADA does not define "major life activities," the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") regulations interpret the term as including "functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working." 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(i) (Emphasis added.). "Substantially limits" means a person is unable to perform a major life activity or "significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which [he] can perform a particular major life activity," as compared to the average person in the general population. 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(j)(1)(i).
The ADA imposes a condition on what it proscribes: it prohibits discrimination against a "qualified individual with a disability." 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a) (emphasis supplied); 29 C.F.R. § 1630.4; 29 C.F.R. app. § 1630.9. This phrase is defined, in pertinent part, as "an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires." 42 U.S.C. § 12111(8). The plaintiff bears the burden of proof on this issue; she must be able to show that she is a "qualified individual with a disability" in order to successfully prosecute an ADA claim. DeLuca v. Winer Indus., Inc., 53 F.3d 793, 797 n. 3 (7th Cir.1995).
1. "Disability" Under the ADA
A plaintiff must pass a two-step test to be a "qualified individual with a disability." 29 C.F.R. app. § 1630.2(m). First, the individual must satisfy "the prerequisites for the position, such as possessing the appropriate educational background, employment experience, skills, licenses, etc." Id. Second, the individual must be able to "perform the essential functions of the position held or desired, with or without reasonable accommodation." Id. This definition is unique to this Act. Whether the plaintiff meets the "qualified individual with a disability" definition is determined as of the time of the employment decision. Id.
2. "Qualified individual" under the ADA.
Recovery under the ADA also requires a plaintiff to establish she is a "qualified individual with a disability." The phrase means that "an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires." See 42 U.S.C. § 12111(8). Thus, a person with a disability is qualified if she has the requisite skills, experience, and education for a job she holds or desires and can perform the essential functions of that job with or without reasonable accommodation. 29 C.F.R. app. § 1630.2(m).
3. "Reasonable accommodation" under the ADA.
Under the ADA, an employer must reasonably accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(5)(A).