If you have been discriminated in your workplace due to age, sex, marital status, pregnancy, or a disability you may have a claim for employment discrimination. Employment discrimination is a complicated body of law that typically requires the complaining party to exhaust their administrative remedies provided by law prior to filing their claim in Court. Additionally, whether the claim should be filed in federal or state court is often determined by the size of the company. Typically, companies over 15 employees are subject to federal and state law while smaller companies typically must comply only with state law.
In any case, it is a good idea to retain an attorney at the earliest stage possible to assist in navigating the administrative process which is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") at the federal level and typically the state Department of Labor on the state level. Once the administrative remedies are exhausted the complainant has a limited amount of time to pursue their case so time is of the essence. The statutes these claims are filed under will also provide for attorney's fees to encourage attorney's to represent persons who have had their rights violated.
If you believe that you or someone you know has been the victim of employment discrimination call toll free 888: 824.5339, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your free initial consultation. If we decide to represent you we typically will do so on a contingency fee basis where we are paid only if we are successful.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the first thing I should do if I believe I have been discriminated against in my place of employment?
It's always a good idea to contact an attorney immediately to assist in navigating these potentially complicated complaints. If you decide not to consult with an attorney you may contact the nearest State Department of Labor Office or Equal Employment Opportunity Office with questions concerning how to file and administrative claim.
What does exhaust my administrative remedies mean and how long do I have to do this?
Exhausting your administrative remedies means that a person who believes they have been discriminated against is required to follow the complaint procedures established by the EEOC and State Department of Labor. This can potentially be a lengthy and time consuming process. Typically, a complaint will be filed with the agency and the employer will have an opportunity to present their side of the story. The agency also may attempt to mediate the claim between the parties. A party typically has only a matter of months to file their administrative complaint or risk losing their potential claim. If the administrative remedies are not exhausted it may preclude a party from filing their claim in State or Federal Court.
I've heard that some administrative investigations can take over 18 months. Do I have to wait this long?
While a complete investigation may take as long as 18 months there are mechanisms available to expedite the process. Some administrative agencies have discretionary authority to issue Right to Sue notices prior to completing an investigation. It is often critical to retain a knowledgeable attorney to assist in navigating through these discretionary provisions of the respective administrative codes.
Once I have exhausted my administrative remedies what is the next step?
The next step is to determine when and where your case should be filed. If the case is eligible to be filed in federal court it is often advantageous to file a federal claim and to add the corresponding state claims in the federal complaint. The Federal Complaint is filed in the proper U.S. District Court. The Norman Law Firm is licensed to practice in both the Delaware and Maryland U.S. District Courts. If the claim has only state elements it is typically filed in the highest trial court of the state.