Steffans Legal Represents Employees in Unlawful Discrimination Cases in Pittsfield, North Adams, Springfield, Worcester, Lowell, Fall River, New Bedford, and Cape Cod
Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is incredibly common. Over the past 12 years, Steffans Legal has talked with 100s of Massachusetts employees from Pittsfield to Worcester to Fall River to Cape Cod who have suffered unlawful discrimination. During that time, we’ve come to appreciate that not all forms of discrimination are obvious, and that sometimes subtle discrimination can hurt the most.
Unfortunately, many employees suffering from unlawful discrimination believe they have no options, and think there is nothing they can do to make it stop. Others know that they have options but are afraid to exercise those options for fear of retaliation.
Our 12 years of experience at Steffans Legal allows us to know how to tackle workplace discrimination claims. When we talk to employees who are suffering from discrimination in the workplace, we are frequently asked the following questions. Trying to determine if you have a valid workplace discrimination claim in the state of Massachusetts? Schedule a free consultation with the team at Steffans Legal. We want to help.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Workplace Discrimination
What is Unlawful Discrimination? At its core, discrimination exists when an employer treats an employee differently from his or her co-workers. That’s a very broad concept. Not all forms of discrimination are illegal. It’s only illegal if the discrimination occurs against employees because of their gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age (over 40), disability, or race.
So Some Discrimination is Legal? Yes. It’s only illegal if it’s because of gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age (over 40), disability, or race. It’s perfectly legal to discriminate against someone for some other reason. For example, it’s legal to discriminate against someone because they are left handed, but not because they are African American. It’s perfectly legal to discriminate against someone because they like to run, but not because they are Muslim.
I’m employed at will? Does that matter. No. Employers can’t unlawfully discriminate against any employee: even one employed at will.
Can I be retaliated against for complaining about the discrimination? Yes, you can be retaliated against for complaining about unlawful discrimination. But that would likely amount to unlawful retaliation and would give you an additional claim against your employer.
How do I prove my case? There are a number of ways to prove unlawful discrimination. Direct evidence is always the best. Comments from your supervisors that prove they were treating you differently because of your protected characteristic is always the most powerful. The next best thing is pointing to situations where colleagues of yours who are different from you were treated differently. It looks like age discrimination if an employer terminates an employee over the age of 40 for being late to work, but not his younger colleague. It looks like race discrimination for giving an African American employee a smaller raise than his Caucasian colleague, assuming they have similar work records.
What do I get if I win? Employees who successfully prove unlawful discrimination are entitled to compensation for emotional distress, lost wages, attorneys’ fees and, if the conduct is particularly egregious, punitive damages.
Can you help? Yes. We have represented countless employees in discrimination claims and have recovered considerable sums of money on their behalf, including on behalf of employees based in Pittsfield, Adams, Springfield, New Bedford, Lowell, Worcester, Fall River, and the Cape.