You have the right to be free from employment discrimination. If you believe you have been treated unfairly by your employer, contact the Shealey Law Firm Title VII and § 1981 Claims attorneys in Columbia, SC.
Title VII and § 1981 Employment Discrimination Attorneys
Discrimination in employment is against the law. If you’re discriminated against based on a protected class, like race, religion or sex, you may have a legal claim. You may receive financial compensation, reinstatement, back pay, back seniority and other remedies. Two federal laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, give people the right to a legal claim when employers act illegally.
Shealey Law Firm is dedicated to standing up for people who are subjected to unlawful treatment by employers. It can happen at any stage of employment, including hiring, managing employees and firing. We are experienced litigators who take on difficult cases, including discrimination claims against companies and big corporations.
About Section 1981 and Title VII Claims
There are two federal laws that protect people from employment discrimination – Title VII and § 1981. The laws are separate, but they are similar.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if you have been discriminated against in employment because of your:
- National origin
You may have a legal claim. Employers may not discriminate against people based on protected classes that have historically been targets of discrimination.
Claims under Title VII and § 1981 apply to hiring and firing. However, they also apply to all other aspects of employment, including:
- Application process and hiring
- Pay and compensation
- Terms and conditions of employment
- Job duties
- Performance evaluations and promotions
- Privileges of employment
- Segregating, limiting or classifying people in employment
Understanding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws almost all employment discrimination based on identified classes.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to:
- Employment agencies
- Labor organizations
- Employer or labor training practices
- Businesses and enterprises with personnel qualified based on religion, sexual or national origin
- Educational institutions with personnel of a particular religion
- Communist Party and other communist organizations
It is okay for organizations to classify people on a protected grounds for bona fide occupational qualifications reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the enterprise. Educational institutions may hire and employ people based on religion if the religion is part of the curriculum of the institution.
Remedies for Employment Discrimination
There are several remedies that may be appropriate when unlawful employment discrimination has occurred. A victim may seek a range of damages which may include punitive damages when discrimination is intentional. Compensatory damages and equitable relief like reinstatement and retroactive seniority may be issued. The purpose of compensation is to put you in the place you would have been if you hadn’t been the victim of illegal conduct.
Often, an employment policy has a disparate impact on a protected group. That, too, can be unlawful discrimination. The complaining party must show:
- The employment practice disparately impacts people of the protected group
- No business need for the policy
- The employer refuses to adopt an alternative practice
Even if the employer says that there is a business necessity, intentional discrimination is still not allowed.
When an employer uses test scores to evaluate or distinguish among employees, they must do so fairly. They may not adjust scores, use a different cutoff score or alter results based on a protected class.
Discrimination for participating in a claim
It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate or discriminate against someone for:
- Making an allegation of employment discrimination
- Testifying in a proceeding
- Cooperating in an investigation
- Participating in an enforcement proceeding
42 U.S.C. § 1981 Claims
42 U.S.C. § 1981 discusses equal rights under the law. The law says that everyone has the same rights in many respects, including:
- Making contracts
- Being a party to a legal proceeding
- Presenting evidence
- Equal benefits of laws
In addition, all people are subject to like punishment, penalties, taxes and similar impositions.
It may be appropriate to reference both 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII in a legal claim. There may also be local anti-discrimination in employment laws. In addition, the South Carolina Human Affairs Law may apply. Many local municipalities also have anti-discrimination laws.
FAQs About Title VII and § 1981 Claims
Is there a time limit to bring a claim under Title VII?
Yes. You have 180 days to file a Title VII complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There are a few exceptions. Once you receive your Right to Sue notice, you have 90 days to file your lawsuit.
What is the McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green case for Title VII?
The McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green case explains what a person must demonstrate to show a prima facie case of discrimination. They must show that the person is a member of a protected class, that they met the defendant’s legitimate expectations, an adverse employment action occurred and similarly situated people who were not members of the protected class were treated more favorably. Once the plaintiff shows these things, the burden shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate reason for the adverse action.
What if the employer uses a pretext to justify discrimination?
A pretext does not justify employment discrimination. You may show how the pretext is unreasonable or untrue.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
When you are faced with employment discrimination, you need a legal team that you can trust. We will advocate for you and the remedies available under the law. We will work to hold offenders accountable and seek justice.
Our Title VII and § 1981 Claims Attorneys in Columbia, SC can help you:
- Investigate what happened
- Determine if you have a claim
- Identify remedies
- Follow the administrative steps to bring your case
- Continue to fight for you when the employer doesn’t admit wrongdoing
- Present your case, including in court
- Advocate for you throughout the proceedings
- Advise you and guide you, answering your questions