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Things to know about dealing with discrimination at work

by Danny White

Workplace discrimination, unfortunately, is not rare or uncommon in Texas. If you believe that you have suffered discrimination at work, it’s important to consult an attorney at the earliest. Discrimination can refer to something retaliation following a complaint, or denying promotions or benefits because of age, gender, sex, pregnancy, race, and other reasons. A skilled employment discrimination lawyer in Austin can guide you on how to take your case ahead, and if you have a valid claim in the first place. 

The basics

If you have suffered discrimination at work, you cannot just go and sue your employer. There are laws that require you to file an administrative complaint with EEOC, which will then follow the due process for investigation. No matter what is the outcome of your complaint, you must simultaneously follow your attorney’s advice and prepare for the lawsuit, as applicable for the case. Ask your discrimination attorney if you can file a case in the federal court, after all basic formalities are done. 

Filing the EEOC complaint

Ideally, most discrimination case start with the EEOC complaint, and settlements often happen without much fuss. However, you can choose to file a lawsuit directly, if 

  1. EEOC hasn’t responded within 180 days
  2. EEOC has issued a decision but no appeal was filed
  3. You disagree with the EEOC’s decision on your appeal

Should you hire a discrimination lawyer?

Ideally, yes. You should consider hiring a discrimination lawyer as soon as possible, so that there is enough scope to gather evidence and investigate the matter. Also, an experienced lawyer knows the worth of a lawsuit right after initial discussion. You can expect to get an overview of the timeline, what to expect in compensation, and how the attorney will take the case ahead. Remember when a discrimination lawyer promises something as an outcome, that is a red flag. The work of your lawyer is critical for sure, but there are things that are beyond control. 

If you are hiring an employment lawyer for the first time, ask questions like – 

  1. How long have you been working as a discrimination lawyer?
  2. Have you handled comparable cases?
  3. What do you think of my case? What are the merits and demerits?
  4. What can I expect in compensation? 
  5. Will you handle the case personally?

Many law firms have multiple discrimination lawyers working for them. Ask the attorney about who is going to work on the case directly, if they are not available.