Many laws have been passed to protect employees from being mistreated in the workplace. But even today, employees are often deprived of their pay, sexually harassed and illegally fired. Most of the time companies get away with it because employees don’t fight back. If you want to be different and stand up for your rights, we’re here to help. We strongly feel that workplace discrimination should never be tolerated. Jackowiak Law Offices is a Chicago employment law firm dedicated to combating prejudice through representing employees who are victims, and hopefully making all work sites a better place for everybody.
Employment discrimination laws prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy and disability. If you believe that you are being treated differently or harassed because you are in one of these protected classes, then you may be a victim of employment discrimination. Adverse employment actions can include termination, demotion, unequal pay, prejudicial hiring practices, failure to promote a qualified employee, or inequality in granting leave, benefits, training, and work assignments. Examples of racial harassment include racially offensive comments, jokes, cartoons, pictures or emails. If you’ve been a victim, we urge you to contact us for a free evaluation of your case and explanation of your rights.
Sexual Harassment & Discrimination
Although gender equality has made great advances in a short time, too often women are still subjected to sexual harassment. This may include vulgar and profane remarks, lewd conduct, inappropriate touching, or demands from a boss for sexual favors as a condition for continued employment, raises, or bonuses. All of this conduct constitutes sexual harassment, and is illegal under federal, state, and local law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We fight for employees who have been victimized by sexual harassment, as well as other forms of workplace harassment.
Race, Sexual Orientation, Age, Disability and Pregnancy Discrimination
Many laws make it illegal to harass or discriminate against a worker based on race, sexual orientation, age, disability, or pregnancy. Most laws prohibit prejudicial treatment in compensation, benefits, job classification, hiring, firing, and promotions.
For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), pregnant women are granted up to three months of unpaid leave in which their employer must hold their job for them. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against people over 40. In addition, The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay men and women who perform “equal work” to be paid the same wage.
Employment discrimination on the basis of race or national origin still happens more often than anyone wants to believe, and it is against the law. Many people think they recognize discrimination when they see it, but it is not always obvious. If you are being treated differently from others in your place of employment, you may be a victim of employment discrimination. We want to know about it.
While most employers like to assert that their workers are “at-will” employees and can be terminated at any time for any reason (with or without cause), this is not always true. Although Illinois is an atwill employment state, this does not mean your employer can fire you for an unlawful or discriminatory reason. There are many exceptions to at-will employment. For example, workers cannot be terminated for discriminatory reasons, for taking advantage of rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), for requesting a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or for blowing the whistle and speaking out about corporate crimes or government fraud.
If you’ve lost your job, you may not understand why this happened. You may have gotten several answers, vague answers or no answers at all if. If that’s the case, and you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly, contact us to discuss a potential claim for wrongful termination.
Retaliation, Whistleblower Laws
If you complain to your employer about discrimination, harassment or other violations of workers’ rights, your employer may not punish you as retaliation for the complaint. If you have a reasonable basis to believe that your complaints are legitimate, even if they turn out to be unfounded, your employer violates the law if actions are taken against you that negatively affect your employment. There are also whistle blower laws which protect workers from punishment for reporting an employer’s illegal activities. We will stand up for you and hold your employer accountable.
Wage & Hour Claims
All workers in the United States are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law that establishes basic protections for compensation and hours worked. The FLSA is the legal basis for the 40hour work week, overtime requirements, meal and break periods, and the federal minimum wage.
Many employers consistently break the FLSA by denying overtime, misclassifying hourly employees as exempt from overtime pay, pressuring or ordering employees to work off the clock, allowing managers to skim from tipped employees’ tip pools, altering time cards, to name a few. In many cases, they rely on the employees’ ignorance of their rights to protect them from the consequences of their illegal actions. We will fight to make it right.