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Can You Bring an Employment Discrimination Class Action?

When you have been discriminated against at your place of work, contacting an employment lawyer is important. An employment lawyer can provide assistance in determining how best to pursue a remedy for the unlawful treatment that you are experiencing. 

Employment discrimination takes many forms, but you deserve to be compensated for any damages you experience when an employer treats you unfairly because of your protected status. You also deserve to have the behavior stop so your workplace is not a hostile environment and so you have a fair chance at promotions and other benefits of employment.

Curley & Rothman, LLC can help if you are the victim of employment discrimination. Our legal team will work hard to assist you in fighting for fair compensation and in determining the best legal remedies. One option you may be considering is a class action if many people have been harmed by discrimination, but this type of case is difficult for employees to bring successfully.  Contact a Conshohocken, PA employment lawyer to find out more about the best legal options.

Can You Bring a Class Action for Employment Discrimination?

You can file a civil lawsuit against an employer if you are treated different in hiring, firing, or the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of your protected status.  Employers are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of your gender, your race, your religion, your national origins or nationality, your advanced age, or your disability status. All of these things are considered to be protected statuses.

You can also file a civil lawsuit against an employer if you are subject to a hostile work environment because of your protected status. If employers or peers make your workplace uncomfortable due to your gender, rage, religion, color, national origin, age, or disability, this can give rise to a claim against the company that employees you.

In some cases, many different people in a workplace are subject to the same type of discrimination. For example, all woman workers in a company may be denied promotions or paid less than men because the company has a general bias against women.  If a company has racist hiring policies, it could be possible for a large group of minorities to have a claim against the company.

When this happens, workers may be interested in trying to file a class action against the company. In one instance, for example, women attempted to get the court to certify a class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart which had alleged that the major company had been treating women unfairly.

A class has to be certified by the court after the court determines there are common questions of law, common damages, and the number of plaintiffs is too substantial for it to be practical for each case to be heard independently.

The LA Times, however, reports that when the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court: "in a ruling that may mean new limits on class-action suits, [the Supreme Court] rejected an effort to sue Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for discrimination on behalf of potentially a million female workers."

The Supreme Court found certification was not appropriate in this case because the lawyers for the employees could not point to any common corporate policy which had resulted in gender discrimination across thousands of stores nationwide.  Such a policy is not likely to formally exist when it comes to discrimination, even if the pervasive attitude throughout the corporation may be one of discrimination.

How Can a Conshohocken Employment Lawyer Help You?

While it may be difficult to file a class action against a company for employment discrimination, it is not impossible.   If you truly believe you may have a group of people in your workplace who have all been affected by the same bad behavior on the part of the employer, you can talk with an employment lawyer about whether a class action is the right remedy.

Further, just because a class action may not be the best approach does not mean you cannot use the court system in order to get compensation for discriminatory treatment at your place of work. If you have been affected by a violation of civil rights laws aimed at preventing discrimination, a Conshohocken employment lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in fighting for compensation.

Curley & Rothman, LLC is dedicated to protecting workers and we will work hard to help you get the money you deserve from an employer who treats you inappropriately due to your protected status. Give us a call today at 610-834-8819 or contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case.