If you suffered workplace discrimination in Virginia, you may be able to pursue a claim against your employer. Employment discrimination can be based on sex, age, gender identity, race, creed, religion, or other factors. While federal laws protect workers from such treatment, and many states have their own state laws that offer added protection as well. This blog discusses employment discrimination in Virginia and how to pursue a claim against your employer.
What Kind of Discrimination Laws are in Place in Virginia?
The Virginia Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, marital status, age, or physical or mental disability. There are also federal laws in place, namely Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, to prohibit workplace discrimination. However, state laws often give extra protection and will ensure you have protection from being mistreated in the workplace.
Who is Protected By Federal and State Laws in Virginia?
In Virginia, the state statute covers smaller employers that are not covered by the federal laws. This means that if your workplace has anywhere between 6 and 14 employees, you can file a claim with the state agency. If your employer has 15 or more employees, the federal laws apply, and you can file your claim through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Whether you file your claim through the state, or the federal agency may depend on the size of your employer.
What Employers are Covered by Discrimination Laws in Virginia?
Because of the Virginia Human Rights Act, most employers are required to adhere to the laws. The state laws apply to employers with as few as six workers. Federal laws apply to employers with 15 or more employees. Only if you are working with a smaller employer with less than six workers would you not be protected by the employment discrimination laws. The laws apply to government agencies, private and public employers, labor unions, and temporary agencies.
Which State Agencies Regulate Workplace Harassment Laws in Virginia?
In Virginia, you can file a claim with the Division of Human Rights (DHR). The DHR is located at 202 North Ninth Street, Richmond, VA 23219 and can be contacted by calling (804) 225-2292. You can also learn more by visiting the DHR website.
To file a claim with the EEOC, you can visit www.eeoc.gov to find the nearest field office or to start an online claim. You can also call (800) 669-4000 to speak with a representative and to start the claims process. Be sure to have all your documentation to pursue a claim against your employer for workplace discrimination. Virginia EEOC offices are in Norfolk, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.
How Do I File A Discrimination Claim in Virginia?
In Virginia, when you file a claim with the DHR or the EEOC, you will need to make sure you provide copies of supporting evidence and documentation. You must provide evidence that will support your claim and confirm what you have alleged happened in the workplace. There is a statute of limitations for pursuing a claim. The federal laws allow 180 days from the date of the incident for a claim to be filed, but you may have as long as 300 days to file a claim because of Virginia state laws.
If you do not file your claim before the deadline, it will be dismissed, and you cannot be compensated for your losses. Review your company handbook to see the company policy for filing a claim. If the DHR or EEOC give you a right to sue form, you have only 90 days from the date on that form to file a lawsuit against your employer. If you wait past the 90 days, you cannot file a lawsuit.
How Do I Get Help Filing A Discrimination Claim in Virginia?
If you are a victim of Virginia employment discrimination, you should get the help of an experienced employment law attorney who is familiar with the state and federal employment laws in Virginia. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details with an employment law attorney who represents workers who are victims of Virginia employment discrimination. You should get your claim underway as quickly as possible, to ensure that you have your rights protected and that you are on track to recouping compensation for your damages. Remember the law is on your side and time is of the essence.