For all U.S. citizens, there are rules and regulations in place to protect employees from wrongful termination or denial of employment due to discrimination, so long as one belongs to a class that is protected by local law. Employment discrimination law differs according to the state, city, or township one lives, making it essential that you understand the laws for where you reside.
Below, we have included some information that you need to know about discrimination laws in the State of Pennsylvania.
What is Considered Employment Discrimination?
Employment discrimination is considered to occur when a former, current, or potential employer takes an adverse employment action against someone based on national origin, race, gender, color, age, religion, or sexual orientation.
Likewise, the concept of adverse employment action includes demotion, termination, denial of promotion, and decreases in pay or salary.
How to File a Discrimination Claim
Before filing a lawsuit against a former, current, or potential employer, you first must file a complaint of discrimination with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission within 180 days of the incident.
After filing a complaint of discrimination, the relevant agency will assign an investigator to your claim. They will ask you and the employer to complete questionnaires, and the investigator may follow-up to collect more information about the complaint filed.
The agency also has the authority to mediate between you and the employer in question. If an agreement cannot be made, then the agency will decide whether or not to file a lawsuit in court against the employer on your behalf.
If the agency in question chooses to file a claim on your behalf, it will file a lawsuit against the current or potential employer and work with you during the legal proceedings.
If the agency chooses not to file a lawsuit on your behalf against the employer, they will send you a “right-to-sue” letter, giving you the authority to file a claim in state or federal court within a specified period with a lawyer of your own.