News - Tag Archives: West Virginia employment discrimination attorney

Former Employee Raises Discrimination Claim Against Dish Network

A woman initiated charges in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against Dish Network LLC at the end of March 2017 on the basis of race and gender (also referred to as “sex”) discrimination. According to the complaint, between 2013 to the woman’s termination from her position on January 7, 2016, she was rejected from various positions at Dish Network and claims to have incurred significant monetary losses. The woman alleges to have experienced racial and sexual harassment by Dish Network management that created a hostile work environment and resultantly a wrongful termination. The woman seeks a trial by jury, monetary relief of more than $200,000, attorney fees, and other methods of relief. When an individual alleges sexual discrimination, these cases are frequently heard by federal courts because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is found to apply to the case.

The Role of Applicable Laws

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment practices that discriminate against any individual on the basis of that individual’s gender. This law applies to all private employers, state and local governments, as well as educational institutions that employ more than 15 individuals. Other potentially applicable federal laws include The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination against an employee who is pregnant.

In addition to these federal regulations, employers should also be aware of local ordinances that can impose additional requirements on them. One example of a state ordinance in West Virginia is the West Virginia Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender by private employers with 12 or more employees as well as by all state and local government agencies. This Act makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of gender in any manner.

Common Examples of Discrimination

There are many examples of behavior that a court might determine constitute gender discrimination. Some of the most common examples include the following:

  • Denial of Promotions. Courts have ruled that denying an individual a promotion based on that individual’s gender can constitute discrimination.
  • Different Benefits. Offerings benefits to employees of one gender but not employees of the other gender can be found to be a type of gender discrimination.
  • Different Compensation. Compensating employees of one gender better than employees of the other gender has been found by courts to constitute discrimination on the basis of sex.
  • Pregnant Employees. Courts have found that employers who refuse to promote a female employee because she is pregnant have committed discrimination.
  • Refusing to Hire Or Promote. Refusing to hire or promote employees of one gender can result in companies being convicted of gender discrimination.

Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled West Virginia Legal Counsel

For individuals and companies who are involved in discrimination lawsuits, the assistance of talented legal counsel can prove to be particularly important. Contact Hendrickson & Long, PLLC by filling out the firm’s convenient online form or calling our office at 304-346-5500.

Defending an Employment Discrimination Claim

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 factual background for these types of suits. An employer may have various options for responding to such a claim depending on the type of complaint that the employee has brought and the current stage of the legal proceedings.

Defending a Claim

It is wise for an employer who has been notified of an employment discrimination complaint or claim to contact an attorney who is experienced in defending such matters in order to protect their rights and obtain proper representation for their cause. The proper legal advice and guidance will provide employers accused of discrimination with the best chances of defeating such claims. A skilled employment law defense attorney will assist their clients with and advise them on the following points, including 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 their clients in quickly implementing a plan of investigation. Generally, investigations will include interviewing the employee who made the complaint, interviewing other witnesses, and compiling and reviewing any relevant documentation to the claim. Employers can choose to take action at this stage which may avoid further legal action.

Advise the employer as to their options if an employee files a complaint with a government agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Human Rights Commission (HRC). In cases such as these, an employer usually can either choose to mediate the case or give a written response to the claim with supporting documentation. In defending against such a claim, it is essential that the employer read and understand the complaint lodged against him and have a thorough understanding of the relevant law to the claim. Employer action will include an investigation into the matter in addition to any response. Following important 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 filed against him. Filing this responsive pleading is the first step in establishing the employer’s position against the employee and defense of their claim, so it is important to take proper steps from the outset. This includes researching facts, compiling relevant documents, contacting and interviewing witnesses, and establishing any counter-claims or affirmative defenses.

Employment Law Defense Attorney

If you are an employer who is being accused of employment discrimination, the attorneys at Hendrickson & Long PLLC can assist you in defending your case. We have successful experience representing employers in many cases in West Virginia. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located Charleston.