In West Virginia (WV), Kentucky, (KY), or Pennsylvania (PA), and indeed the entire United States, employees may bring a claim against an employer based on discrimination for a variety of reasons. Cases involving age discrimination, gender discrimination, and racial discrimination are probably the most common forms of discrimination claims. An employer has several options for responding to such claims, depending on the type of complaint that the employee has brought and the current stage of the legal proceedings. Preparation and experienced representation are key to successfully defending an employment discrimination claim.
Defending an Employment Discrimination Claim Starts with Calling Your Lawyer
Hire an Experienced Attorney When Defending an Employment Discrimination Claim
As a general rule of thumb, it is wise for an employer who has been notified of an employment discrimination claim or complaint to contact an attorney who is experienced in defending such matters. Hiring an experienced employment lawyer defense attorney will help protect the employer’s rights and obtain premium representation in the case. The proper legal advice and guidance provide employers accused of discrimination with the best chances of successfully defending against such claims.
Steps to Take in Defending an Employment Discrimination Claim
Employment lawyers in WV, KY, and PA know that successfully defending an employment discrimination claim requires being responsive and proactive. An employer defending a discrimination claim must acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and respond accordingly, which includes hiring experienced counsel. A skilled employment law defense attorney assists clients with and advises them on the following points, among others:
- Encourage the investigation of an employee’s in-house complaint and craft a proper response under the circumstances. Prompt action is essential in this case, and an attorney can help a client quickly implement a plan of investigation. Generally, investigations include interviewing the employee who made the complaint, interviewing other witnesses, and compiling and reviewing any relevant documentation of the claim. Prompt action taken by an employer at this stage may avoid further legal action.
- Advise the employer about the options available if an employee files a complaint with a government agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a state agency such as the WV Human Rights Commission (HRC). When an employee has filed a complaint with such an agency, the employer usually has the option either to mediate the case or to give a written response to the claim along with supporting documentation. In defending the discriminaiton claim, it is essential that the employer read and understand the claims in the complaint and have a thorough understanding of the relevant law. An employer may choose to conduct an internal investigation into the claim in addition to providing its response to the complaint. Following the relevant legal rules, including timeliness and the inclusion of appropriate information, is crucial.
- In cases that move forward to the litigation stage, it is not only advisable but imperative to have legal representation in defense of an employment discrimination claim. Parties to a legal action are bound by rules of evidence and procedure in filing pleadings and arguing their positions. An employer will have a limited amount of time to file an Answer to a Complaint alleging discrimination. Filing this responsive pleading is the first step in establishing the employer’s position against the employee and defense of the claim, so it is important to take proper steps from the outset. This includes researching the facts, compiling relevant documents, contacting and interviewing witnesses, and establishing any counterclaims or affirmative defenses.
Contact WV Employment Discrimination Attorneys Today
If you are an employer with a pending employment discrimination claim, the employment law defense attorneys at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC can assist you in defending an employment discrimination claim in WV, KY, or PA. We have years of experience representing employers in employment discrimination cases and can assist you with both advice and representation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Charleston office, or call us directly at 304-346-5500.