In spite of the numerous federal and state laws designed to protect defined classes of employees, discrimination is still all too common in workplaces throughout the country, including in the state of Washington. If you have experienced discrimination of any kind at your place of employment, Sapphire Legal will help you restore your dignity and sense of fairness. Founded by employment attorney Kristi Favard, Sapphire Legal was formed with the mission of standing up for individual rights and to seek justice for those who have been wronged.
Kristi is deeply committed to delivering excellent legal representation coupled with compassion and personal concern. She distinguishes herself from other attorneys by establishing a strategy based on getting to know her clients personally while also providing top-notch legal representation and advocacy. She is well aware of the financial and emotional hardship employment discrimination can cause and balances empathy with tenacious pursuit of your claims. Kristi deeply believes in equality and human rights, and she is passionate about enforcing anti-discrimination laws against employers. If you have been discriminated against based on race, age, disability, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. give us a call and let us help you take a stand against inequality.
The Forms Employment Discrimination Can Take
Into the early 20th century, employment discrimination was blatant. People alive today remember wanted ads that explicitly excluded specific races. Today there are laws forbidding such repulsive proclamations, but that doesn’t mean prejudice and discrimination have been erased. The difference is that now discrimination is more discreet, which makes proving a discrimination claim more difficult. Additionally, state and federal laws are in place to protect you and employment law attorneys like Kristi Favard use those laws in their fight to protect you.
Washington State and the Laws Against Discrimination
The Washington State Law against Discrimination makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, disability (including the necessary use of a trained service animal). As a matter of fact, in cases involving sex or disability discrimination, Washington state law offers you greater protection than federal law does.
Employees may file a charge of discrimination against their employer with either the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Because the two agencies have what is called a “work-sharing agreement,” they fully cooperate with one another’s claims, meaning that when you file a complaint with one of the agencies, the other agency is automatically included and also processes the charge.
New Legislation Has Kept Discrimination Laws Current
In 1967 age was added to the list of federally protected traits. In that year, Congress passed The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), prohibiting age discrimination against anyone over the age of 40. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Then, in 1990, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law, offering protection for those with serious disabilities and in 1993, The Family and Medical Leave Act was passed, permitting employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical and family reasons without being penalized. Laws continue to be amended and developed to protect classes of people from being discriminated against in employment.
Sapphire Legal Protects You from Employment Discrimination
Being a member of one of the following groups entitles you to legal protection to receive equal treatment at your workplace. Kristi Favard has the energy, know-how, and passion to fight for you if you have been discriminated against because of your:
- Skin color
- National origin
- Sex or sexual orientation
- Gender identity or gender expression
- Marital status
- Physical, mental, psychiatric disability
- Genetic information
- Honorable discharge veteran status
- Need for a trained guide dog or other service animals
Washington is one of the few states in the U.S. that prohibits employment discrimination based on LGBT identification.
What Constitutes Employment Discrimination
While it is entirely lawful to favor one employee over another by, for example, promoting that individual over a colleague, if such action is taken for a discriminatory reason, it is illegal. So, while your employer has a great deal of power over you and can fire you “at will,” you should contact Sapphire Legal immediately if you believe one of the following has occurred because of your protected status:
- You were not hired although highly qualified for the job
- You were disciplined, treated badly, or harassed (teased, humiliated, called names)
- You were paid less than others doing the same work
- You have been segregated from other employees
- You have been denied equal training opportunities or preferred job assignments
- You have not been provided with opportunities for advancement or promotions
- You have been wrongfully terminated
Some types of discrimination are subtle, such as forbidding the wearing of headgear in the office when a turban, yarmulke or hijab may be required by your religious beliefs. Sometimes discrimination is shown through an employer’s pattern of taking action against employees who are common members of a protected class. For example, in the case of age discrimination, a pattern of terminating employees who have been with the company for over twenty years under the pretext of declining performance.
Contact Our Everett Employment Discrimination Lawyer
It is not always easy to prove that you have been discriminated against. At times, even though you have been bullied or mistreated, your employer will fabricate reasons, such as poor productivity, that you were not given the raise you were promised or that you were moved to a much less pleasant workspace (this is called “pretext”). Once you bring Kristi onboard as your discrimination attorney, she will gather and carefully examine evidence, interview witnesses and decide which tactics will be most effective for winning your case. At Sapphire Legal, we are focused on obtaining results for you, either through negotiation or litigation. Kristi Favard works with committed determination to enforce anti-discrimination laws, right wrongs, and to achieve justice. If you have been discriminated against in the workplace and want to seek justice against your employer, give us a call or fill out the contact form for a case evaluation.