Systemic Discrimination

Asking an attorney about a discrimination claim can often result in a discussion about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is sometimes charged with investigating such claims.  It is interesting to monitor which cases the EEOC tends to litigate to determine which acts of discrimination it believes are the most prevailing in the country’s work places.  One such type of case is “systemic” discrimination, or large-scale discrimination.  This usually means an employer’s practice or policy has a negative effect on a large group of people in a protected class such as race, sex, disability, religion, national origin, or age. Most recently, our firm was involved in a case such as this involving disability discrimination against a a major national retail store.  These types of claims are not necessarily “class actions” even though there may be multiple victims of discrimination or retaliation.  Each individual claim may be treated separately and differently.  It is important to counsel with an attorney about the different laws protecting your employment and how your rights and damages under each one might be different.

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