Employment discrimination lawyers in Denver, Colorado help employees fight against job discrimination. Federal and Colorado employment law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants on the basis of protected classes. Employers that take adverse employment actions on the basis of a protected class violate these laws and the victims can pursue remedies in federal and state court. If you believe an employer acted against your job or a job opportunity on the basis of a protected class then you should talk to an employment discrimination lawyer in Denver right away. Many employment discrimination laws require you to act quickly to protect your rights and pursue your claim.
Protected classes under federal and Colorado employment discrimination laws
Employment discrimination laws apply to classes of workers specifically defined by the laws. Courts describe these as “protected classes” under these laws. Federal and Colorado employment discrimination laws define many protected classes although they do not always agree on the classes protected. Here are the protected classes under both federal and Colorado law:
- National Origin
- Age over forty
- Genetic information
Colorado and federal law disagree over the protection for LGBT workers. Colorado employment law specifically prohibits discrimination against workers on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual or gender identity. Federal law has for the most part treated discrimination on the basis of sex or gender identity as a form of sex discrimination; however, federal courts only recently began considering sexual orientation discrimination as a form of sex discrimination. If you believe you suffered job discrimination on the basis of a protected class then you should talk to an employment discrimination lawyer in Denver right away.
Federal employment discrimination laws
Several federal laws apply to these protected classes. Title VII of the Civil RIghts Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender and religion. Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 also prohibits racial discrimination in jobs. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination against pregnant women and new mothers on the basis of their pregnancy or childbirth as a form of sex discrimination. The Equal Pay Act also prohibits discrimination in pay on the basis of sex.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its amendments prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. For some employees the Rehabilitation Act may also prohibit disability discrimination on the job. GINA prohibits discrimination on the basis of a genetic disease regardless of whether it manifests as a disability.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age-based discrimination against workers over the age of forty.
Employees and applicants who believe they suffered job discrimination should talk to an employment discrimination lawyer in Denver about their potential claims under both state and federal law.
Process to pursue employment discrimination claims in Colorado
Generally employees must exhaust administrative remedies before filing a federal or Colorado lawsuit for employment discrimination. Employees must file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDOLE) who will cross-file the charge with the other agency. The charge of discrimination must be timely filed under the applicable statutes. The time limit to file the charge differs for certain employees. Any claim not raised in the charge of discrimination may not be pursued in court. For these reasons it is important for an employee or applicant with a potential claim to talk to an employment discrimination lawyer in Denver right away.