Understanding Employment Discrimination in the Alabama Workplace
At one time or another, most people feel they are treated unfairly at work. As an at will state, Alabama employers can terminate your employment for many reasons, but not for reasons defined under state and federal law as discriminatory.
Understanding something about those reasons is important if you suspect discrimination at work. In the United States, employers cannot discriminate against you for the following reasons:
- Age (over 40 years of age)
- Gender including pregnancy
- National origin
- Genetic background
Alabama state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of age and broad protection is provided by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC offers protection to individuals already employed or those who believe they were discriminated against during the hiring process.
Prohibited treatment under federal law includes:
- Discrimination or harassment based on defined, protected factors
- Denial of adjustment or accommodation in your workplace due to religious belief or disability
- Retaliation because you filed a complaint, were involved in a lawsuit or aided an investigation of your employer for alleged wrongdoing or discrimination
You generally have 180 days from the date of discrimination to file a complaint. Speaking with an employment lawyer is a good idea prior to filing a complaint if you wonder whether treatment by your employer is discriminatory. A business must employ at least 15 people for 20 calendar weeks to fall under the authority of the EEOC. An attorney can advise you about this coverage, and provide information about the evidence and documentation needed to help support your case.
Everyday complaints at work are commonplace, but discrimination should not be. If you have questions about the difference, speak to an attorney at our firm.