Employment Discrimination in Michigan

When the acts of discrimination come fast and furious at your place of work, your career might be on the line. If you face employment discrimination in Michigan, you have the right to confront your employer by filing a complaint with the Michigan Department of Human Rights. If the acts of discrimination cost you money, you should consider hiring an employment attorney to help you fight back against workplace discrimination.

What are the Michigan Employment Discrimination Laws?

Two primary federal laws address workplace discrimination in Michigan: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Title VII represents the most sweeping piece of legislation that protects workers from discriminatory acts in the workplace. However, many states that include Michigan have gone beyond the legal stipulations written into Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act represents the legal foundation of Michigan’s employment discrimination statutes. One of the ways that the Michigan law provides more protections for workers is the clause forbids employers from requesting genetic information as a condition of employment.

In 2018, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission issued a statement that stated discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation is considered part of the protections granted by the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

How Does State and Federal Laws Protect Workers Against Discrimination?

A federal law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace covers each of the 50 states. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate based on the following factors:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age (for workers at least 40 years old)
  • Disability
  • Citizenship status

The Eliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act bans workplace discrimination in Michigan for the following additional factors:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Aids/HIV status
  • Marital status
  • Misdemeanor arrest record

What Employers Must Follow Michigan Workplace Discrimination Laws?

Federal workplace discrimination laws cover employers in Michigan that have at least 15 employees, except for the following reasons.

  • Age discrimination-Minimum of 20 employees
  • Citizenship status-Minimum of four employees
  • Equal pay for men and women-All employers

Michigan requires every employer with at least one worker to follow state discrimination laws. If you want to file a discrimination complaint against your employer and your employer has fewer than 15 workers, you should file your complaint according to Michigan discrimination statutes.

What Michigan Agencies Enforce Discrimination Laws?

If you have been discriminated against at work, you can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can call the EEOC at 800-669-4000 or access the agency’s website to schedule an appointment to discuss your complaint. The EEOC website presents a list of every field office operating in Michigan.

The Department of Civil Rights regulates employment discrimination laws in Michigan. You can call the department at 313-456-3700 or visit its website to file a complaint.

How Do I File a Discrimination Claim in Michigan?

If you have been discriminated against at work in Michigan, you should contact the Department of Civil Rights online or in person.

The department has established a communication channel by using Zoom on Mondays from 8 am until noon and Wednesdays from 1 pm to 5 pm. After you join a Zoom call, you get placed on a first-come, first-served waiting list.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights prepares formal complaints for workers. You have to sign the formal complaint in front of a notary public and then return the formal complaint to the department.

Once the department receives your formal complaint, a team of investigators launches an impartial investigation into your allegations.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Complaint in Michigan?

Workers have 180 days after the last act of discrimination to file a formal complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Complaints that do not qualify for federal jurisdiction give workers three years to file in a state court.

Working with an employment attorney can help you meet the deadline for filing a formal complaint. If you fail to meet the deadline for filing a formal complaint against your employer, you can expect a court clerk to dismiss your complaint.

How Do I Get Help Filing an Employment Discrimination Complaint in Michigan?

An employment lawyer can help you collect and organize the evidence you need to convince the state that you endured one or more acts of discrimination.

Evidence comes in the form of documents like the employee manual and a copy of your disciplinary file. Your attorney might decide to negotiate a settlement in your favor as well.

Schedule a free case evaluation today with an employment law lawyer.

Additional Resources