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In today’s society, no one should have to face discrimination for being different from others in any way. Sadly, it continues to occur here in Kentucky and elsewhere.

What Does Discrimination Look Like?

Discrimination can come from several sources in your workplace such as your co-workers, your supervisor or anyone — from the person who cleans the offices up to the owner of the company. Since several people could engage in discriminatory behavior, it may come in different forms. Some are obvious such as racial slurs, sexual epithets or religious jokes. Others are less obvious, such as assigning certain people undesirable tasks, failing to promote certain people or failing to hire certain people.

The following represent the major categories of discrimination that occur in the workplace:

  • Race discrimination — This refers to treating an employee differently or unfairly because he or she is or shares characteristics with people of certain ethnicities or colors.
  • Sexual/gender discrimination — This includes unfair treatment due to gender or sexual orientation and includes pregnancy discrimination.
  • Disability discrimination — This involves treating people with disabilities covered by the American Disabilities Act unfairly and failing to provide reasonable accommodations to those with disabilities as well.
  • Religious discrimination — If an employer refuses to accommodate an employee’s religious practices, such as not allowing employees to wear required religious garments, it could constitute discrimination. It also includes treating a person unfairly or differently due to religious preferences or practices.
  • Age (40 or older) discrimination — If an employee is age 40 or older, an employer cannot discriminate against him or her when it comes to hiring, firing, promotions and more.
  • AIDS/HIV discrimination — People suffering from these conditions are protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • National origin discrimination — An employer may not treat an employee unfairly because he or she comes from a particular country.

If you fall into one or more of the above groups protected by law and you are subjected to discriminatory behavior and actions in the workplace, you may seek compensation from your employer. If the discrimination is subtle, you may not even notice it at first. It may take some time for you to discern the pattern.

Even so, just because you did not recognize it right away does not necessarily mean that you lose the right to file a complaint about it. If your employer fails to take action to rectify the problem, then you may need to take legal action.

Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Discrimination

At Kentucky Employment Lawyer, we know that our clients have a lot of questions about local employment laws, their rights and the options they have when facing issues like discrimination and harassment. If you are interested in learning more about what you can do about these issues, below are some of the most common questions our experienced legal team sees.

What type of evidence do you need to prove discrimination?

Many different types of evidence can help, including copies of email messages, text messages, social media messages and the like. You may also have pictures, videos or audio recordings. Additionally, it can help to get witness statements or look at past behavior to establish a pattern.

How do you file a discrimination complaint and why is it important to have a lawyer?

You can file a complaint with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights if you think that you have experienced illegal discrimination. It is important to know how to file and what documentation will be necessary. The guidance of an experienced legal team will keep your case on track.

What is the statute of limitations for employment discrimination in Kentucky?

The Kentucky Civil Rights Act defines, in part, the rights that workers have in this situation. Under the current laws, you have five years to file a case after the discrimination takes place. It is important to act quickly when learning about your legal rights, as passing the statute of limitations may prevent you from filing. Do not delay if you have a valid case.

Should I file a complaint with HR?

It can be helpful to file a complaint with HR, both to put an end to the discrimination and to create an official paper trail of your complaint. That said, remember that HR is on the company’s side, as it is a division of the business. They are not on your side, so it’s important to work with a legal team that you can trust to focus on your best interests from beginning to end.

Kentucky Employment Lawyers Can Help

As soon as you realize that something just isn’t right, it may be beneficial to discuss the matter with one of our attorneys who can advise you of your rights and provide you with information that could keep you from making mistakes that may jeopardize any future lawsuit you may file. For instance, you will need to inform your employer, especially if the perpetrator is a co-worker. You do not need to quit your job and doing so could be a mistake as well. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling our Louisville office at 502-791-9296 or by contacting us online.