Discrimination Laws

Regardless of the circumstances, getting fired tends to be stressful. However, losing your job is even more upsetting if you feel that you were dismissed for unfair reasons. Although Arizona is an at-will state — meaning that employers can hire and fire workers without giving cause — the law does prohibit companies from dismissing employees based on “unchangeable characteristics.” Referring to attributes beyond a worker’s control, these qualities include race, religion, age, disability, and sex. Additionally, companies are prohibited from firing employers who are pregnant.

If you think your employer has dismissed you based on one of these protected characteristics, don’t hesitate to contact an employment lawyer. Depending on the specifics of the case, your attorney may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit to help you get your job back or recover lost wages. Keep reading to learn what exactly qualifies as discrimination in Arizona and discover the steps you can take to protect your rights. 

What Constitutes Discrimination in the State of Arizona?

Both federal and state laws bar companies from discriminating against their employees or firing them for attributes outside their control. If you think you were dismissed based on one of these protected characteristics, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Moreover, these laws still apply even if other factors like performance problems or attendance issues contributed to your firing.

It’s important to note that some companies are exempt from the federal law protecting employees from discrimination based on age. The ADEA, or The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, applies to the following employment areas:

  • Federal, state or local government
  • Companies with 20 or more workers
  • Labor organizations with 25 or more members
  • Employment agencies

A knowledgeable employment law attorney can review the specifics of your case and tell you whether you have cause for a lawsuit against your former company.

Understanding Different Types of Discrimination

It’s illegal to discriminate against workers or treat them unfairly based on protected characteristics. Here are some of types of discrimination that are prohibited by state and federal law:

Racial Discrimination

Various behaviors can constitute racial discrimination in the workplace. If your co-workers or supervisors are making race-based remarks or jokes in your presence, you may have cause for a lawsuit. Additionally, discrimination may occur if members of one race are getting hired or promoted over less qualified ones from other races. Companies may also be accused of discrimination if they are reprimanding or dismissing workers of one race at a higher rate than those of another.

Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits companies from discriminating against or demoting workers with physical and mental disabilities. Moreover, employers must take steps to provide “reasonable accommodations” for employees with disabilities rather than dismissing them. Note that this law does not apply in cases when employees’ disabilities prevent them from fulfilling their job requirements. If you file a suit based on disability discrimination, you will need to prove that you were unfairly terminated despite having the capability to do your job effectively.

Sex Discrimination

Title VII prevents employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sex, sexuality, or gender identity. This law applies to various aspects of employment, including hiring and firing, salary, job assignments, promotions, and fringe benefits. 

How Our Attorneys Can Help With Your Discrimination Case

Proving employment discrimination can be a challenge. Not only are their specific guidelines for discrimination cases, but employees have only a limited amount of time to file a suit after being fired. Moreover, employees need to present sufficient evidence to show that they were dismissed for characteristics outside their control. With that in mind, many workers choose to hire an employment lawyer to zealously represent them in court and defend their rights. 

Here are some of the steps our Phoenix employment lawyers take when filing unlawful discrimination charges:

  • Look for Patterns: One of the first steps in proving discrimination is reviewing hiring and firing practices at the company in question. The goal is to determine whether a business habitually demonstrates bias toward or against employees of a particular race, sex, age, national origin, or disability.
  • Conduct Interviews: Your employment lawyer will likely conduct interviews with your former co-workers and supervisors. 
  • Review Records: Lawyers will review company employment records to determine whether termination was justified. 

Contact Us for an Employment Law Consult

Discrimination cases are often hard to prove, and it pays to have an experienced attorney in your corner. Fortunately, the team at Phoenix Employment Law is ready and waiting to assist you. We understand that companies often try to pretend innocence in situations involving employee dismissals and take steps to expose them and get you what you deserve. If you think you might have cause for a discrimination lawsuit, don’t hesitate to call us or contact our knowledgeable team online.