Our Virginia Employment Attorneys Have Extensive Experience Handling Workplace Discrimination Claims and Hostile Work Environment Claims
Discrimination is prejudicial treatment in the workplace. When discrimination is based on a protected characteristic—such as race, gender, or disability status—an affected employee can bring a legal case. Virginia employers should take care to avoid discriminatory practices in the workplace and to address any complaints of discrimination in a fair and efficient manner.
At Pierce / McCoy, our workplace discrimination & hostile work environment attorneys are committed to providing strong, results-oriented legal representation to employers and employees in Norfolk, Richmond, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. To set up a confidential, no obligation employment law consultation, please contact our Virginia workplace discrimination lawyers today.
Workplace Discrimination: What You Need to Know
Workplace discrimination is covered by federal and state regulations. Most importantly, these laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 along with the Virginia Human Rights Act. Collectively, these regulations prohibit many types of discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, federal law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of any of the following:
- Race discrimination;
- Sex discrimination;
- Pregnancy discrimination;
- National origin discrimination;
- Age discrimination;
- Disability discrimination;
- Discrimination based on military service; and
- Discrimination based on religion.
In general, a workplace discrimination claim also involves a specific adverse employment action. Adverse employment actions are defined broadly—they include everything from failure to promote to wrongful termination. In short, if an employee is subject to some form of tangible negative treatment by the employer, and discriminatory animus is behind the action taken, the employee has a potential workplace discrimination claim and can pursue the claim by filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
What is a Hostile Work Environment?
In many workplace discrimination cases, a hostile work environment is also a potential issue. As explained by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a hostile work environment is one in which a reasonable person would feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, or intimidated to the point that it materially affects their ability to effectively perform their job duties.
To qualify as a hostile work environment from a legal standpoint, there must be some form of discrimination involved. In other words, a manager who is extremely rude to an employee may not be in violation of any law—even if their conduct is unfair and ill-advised. In contrast, a manager who is extremely rude to an employee on the basis of race or gender, for example, may be creating a hostile work environment in violation of the law.
Representation in Workplace Discrimination Claims
Workplace discrimination and hostile work environment claims are complex. These are cases that always need to be handled on a context-specific basis. We understand that discrimination is rarely overt. It is more typically evidenced by conduct and decisions made by supervisors who may have hidden discriminatory views. We also understand that not all workplace disputes are unlawful discrimination or create an unlawfully hostile work environment.
Individuals who have experienced any example of employee discrimination should talk to an employment attorney in Virginia about their legal options. Employers that are facing a discrimination or hostile work environment complaint should take immediate action to address the matter—including consulting with an attorney.
We have a wealth of experience handling matters through EEOC proceedings, and our attorneys routinely work with the EEOC’s investigators. If you have been demoted, denied a promotion, or fired based on race, sex, or any of the reasons cited above, we will help you understand your legal protections and work to preserve your employment rights. Similarly, if your company is facing a workplace discrimination or hostile work environment complaint, we are prepared to help you find an efficient, successful resolution.
Get Help From Our Virginia Workplace Discrimination Attorneys Today
At Pierce / McCoy, our Virginia employment law attorneys have the skills and experience to handle workplace discrimination claims and hostile work environment claims. We represent both employers and employees. To set up a confidential consultation, please contact our law firm today. With law offices in Richmond and Norfolk, we handle employment law matters in Central Virginia and Hampton Roads.