It is illegal for employers to deny workers their rights based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or age. These rights are protected by federal laws, as well as the laws of Illinois and the city of Chicago. All Americans are guaranteed equal opportunities for employment, but sometimes discrimination in the workplace puts some employees at a disadvantage.
Employees deserve an equal wage, equal opportunities for promotion and training, and the same job privileges under the law. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it is illegal for employers to:
- Fail to pay minimum wage as mandated by each state. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, while the minimum wage for Illinois is $8.25 per hour, according to the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL).
- Fail to pay overtime. While there are exceptions, most hourly employees are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week.
- Fail to pay employees for all hours worked.
- Deny workers certain rights and benefits by misclassifying them as “independent contractors.”
- Fail to compensate tipped employees if their combined cash wage and tips do not equal minimum wage.
- Retaliate against or fire workers who file an FLSA complaint.
In addition to protection under the FLSA at the federal level, these violations are illegal under Illinois law and are overseen by IDOL.
If you have experienced discrimination, or have been denied fair wages, a Chicago labor and employment lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation. The specific types of awards a plaintiff can pursue are unique to each case, but the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) allows victims of employment discrimination to seek compensation for:
- Back pay
- Overtime pay
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Costs associated with searching for new employment
- Attorney fees
- Court costs
- Stress, anxiety, and mental anguish
The purpose of these damages is to put victims of employment discrimination in relatively the same economic position they would be in had the discrimination not occurred. In addition to awards, a court may also order an employee’s job to be reinstated, or an employee is given a promotion, job training, or other benefits they were denied because of discrimination.
In certain instances where an employer has acted particularly recklessly or maliciously, a court may order they pay punitive awards to the plaintiff. Defendants are ordered to pay punitive damages as a form of punishment for their wrongful actions.
To learn more about labor and employment lawsuits and what you may recover, contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-596-7887.
Employment Discrimination Laws
In addition to federal laws, workers in Illinois are protected by state laws outlawing discrimination and mandating equal employment opportunities and equal pay.
The Illinois Human Rights Act protects against discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, access to credit, and real estate transactions. It recognizes more than a dozen protected traits, including race, color, age, physical and mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and national origin. The Equal Pay Act of 2003 forbids employers from paying men and women unequally for equal work. It also prohibits employers from paying African Americans a lower wage than other workers.
On the federal level, discrimination is outlawed on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act makes it illegal for employers to hire, fire, unfairly compensate, deny benefits to, or withhold job privileges from anyone because of the traits mentioned above. It is necessary for employers to also make accommodations for the religious practices of employees. Title VII established the EEOC and gives victims of discrimination the legal right to fight for compensation in court.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibits employers from hiring, firing, determining pay, and offering promotions and job training on the basis of sex. These rights also cannot be denied because of an employee’s age, as outlined by The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 guarantees employment opportunities for people with physical and mental disabilities. This law prohibits employers from denying job opportunities to disabled workers, and mandates that reasonable accommodations be made to allow disabled persons to perform their jobs without undue hardship.
For a free legal consultation with a labor and employment lawyer serving Chicago, call 800-596-7887
If you believe you may be the victim of workplace discrimination, you may file complaints at the city, state, and federal level. If your claim happened in Chicago, you may report to the city’s Office of Labor Standards. On the state level, your complaint should be filed with IDOL. Federally, if you intend to file a lawsuit, the EEOC allows 300 days from the time of the discriminatory act to file a complaint. A Chicago labor and employment lawyer can help you through this process.
Chicago Labor and Employment Lawyer Near Me 800-596-7887
Ben Crump Law, PLLC
Discrimination in the workplace is not only wrong, it is illegal. If you are the victim of discrimination, Ben Crump Law, PLLC wants to help you stand up for your rights. Employers cannot deny economic opportunities to workers on the basis or their race, color, sex, or because of a disability.
Our team has helped clients across the country successfully achieve settlements, and we may be able to help you, too. We believe in fighting for what is right, and we are not afraid to take on difficult cases. Whether your labor and employment claim is against a small business or large corporation, we will not shy away from your case. Let us focus on the law so you can worry about getting back on your feet.
Our Chigaco labor and employment lawyers can help you through every step of your case, including representing you in court, if necessary. We can help you build your case by obtaining evidence, such as eyewitness testimony and official documents. Our services are on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing out of pocket and nothing upfront. Our fees come from any settlement you may receive. To learn more about how Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help with your case, contact our offices at 800-596-7887.
For those states where Ben Crump Law may not be licensed, the firm will seek court approval or align with local counsel.