Unfortunately, discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace is still a reality for many. If you believe that you have been the victim of such discrimination, there are steps you can take to hold your employer accountable and get the justice you deserve. Here’s what you need to know.
Find an Attorney
You should consult an attorney before filing a charge, as they can help guide you through the process and represent you if a lawsuit is filed. When consulting an attorney, be sure to ask the following questions:
- What are your fees? – Be sure to ask about the attorney’s fees and whether they will be charged on an hourly or contingency basis. Some attorneys will charge a flat rate, while others may charge by the hour. If the attorney works on a contingency basis, they will only charge you if they successfully win your case.
- How long will the case take? – Ask the attorney how long they anticipate the case will take. This will help you better gauge how much expenses you may incur in addition to attorney fees.
- What are my chances of winning? – Not all cases are winnable, so it is essential to understand your chances of success before moving forward with litigation. An experienced attorney will be able to give you a good idea of your chances and whether or not it is worth proceeding with a case.
Consider Mediation and Arbitration Services
Mediation and arbitration are alternative dispute resolution services that may be options in some situations. In mediation, a neutral third-party mediator helps the parties come to an agreed-upon solution without going to court. Arbitration is similar but involves a more formal process and typically includes a decision made by the arbitrator.
These services can be a good option if you want to resolve your dispute quickly and without needing a trial. They can also be less expensive than going to court, as they require fewer resources and personnel. However, there is no guarantee that mediation or arbitration will successfully resolve your case.
If you decide to pursue mediation or arbitration to resolve your workplace discrimination case, there are a few things you can do to prepare. First, gather all relevant evidence and documentation related to the discrimination you experienced. This may include witness statements, emails, or other communications related to the discrimination.
You should also consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law. They will be able to help you understand your rights and options under the law and can guide how best to present your case. Finally, remain calm and cooperative throughout the mediation or arbitration process. This will help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
File a Charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The first step in legal action against workplace discrimination is filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They are responsible for ensuring that employees are not discriminated against in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
To file a charge, you must provide basic information about yourself, your employer, and the discriminatory incident or incidents in question. Once your charge has been filed, the EEOC will investigate and determine whether there is sufficient evidence of discrimination to take further action.
If the EEOC finds that discrimination did occur, they may attempt to settle you and your employer. The EEOC may file a lawsuit on your behalf if they cannot agree. Alternatively, they may give you a “right-to-sue” letter, allowing you to file your case in court.
If you decide to file a charge with the EEOC, it is essential to compile as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This may include witness statements, documents that show that you were treated differently than other employees, or any other evidence that supports your case.
File a Lawsuit in Court
If you choose to file a lawsuit rather than let the EEOC handle things, you must do so within 90 days of receiving your right-to-sue letter. It’s important to note that if you file your lawsuit, you will give up your right to have the EEOC investigate or take any other action on your behalf.
When filing your lawsuit, you must draft and file a complaint—a document outlining your legal claims against your employer. Once your complaint has been filed, your employer will have an opportunity to respond. From there, the litigation process will unfold according to standard court procedures.
Moreover, ensure that you understand the legal process and how you can protect your rights. This includes familiarizing yourself with relevant state and federal laws, gathering evidence of discrimination, and understanding potential defenses that your employer may use.
Finally, it is essential to remember that even if you do not win your case, taking action against workplace discrimination is a meaningful way to stand up for yourself and your rights. No matter what the outcome, you will be taking a stand against discrimination in the workplace.
No one should have to endure workplace discrimination—period. If you are an LGBT person who has experienced such discrimination, know that legal options are available. By filing a charge with the EEOC, considering mediation, or filing a lawsuit in court, you can hold your employer accountable and get the justice you deserve.