Discrimination & Retaliation

Equal Employment Opportunity

Federal and Colorado law prohibit employment discrimination and retaliation in state and local government employment. Murray Law seeks to provide helpful counsel and effective representation to state and local government employees, supervisors, managers, executives, professionals, applicants, and former employees. Steven Murray has successfully represented public and private sector clients in employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits in U.S. District Courts, including jury verdicts and favorable resolutions in the interests of individual clients.

Discrimination

A state or local government agency engages in unlawful employment discrimination when an individual is subjected to an adverse action or treated less favorably, because he or she is a member of a lawfully protected class.

Federal and Colorado law prohibit state and local government agencies from taking employment actions based on: (1) race or color; (2) national origin; (3) age; (4) sex; (5) sexual orientation; (6) pregnancy; (7) religion; and (8) disability. The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act [CADA] also prohibits state and local government agencies from discharging an employee because of an employee’s participation in lawful off-duty activities. The CADA prohibits a state or local government employer from refusing to hire or discharging a person because of marital status.

Public sector employers are required to provide employees and applicants with reasonable accommodations for a disability and/or religion or religious practice.

State and local agencies may not subject an employee to harassment or a hostile work environment because of the person’s protected status, i.e. sex, disability. Employment discrimination includes harassment resulting in a seriously adverse employment action against an employee, i.e. discharge, and/or subjecting an employee to a hostile and abusive environment based on conduct directed at a protected class. Prohibited harassment may occur when an employee is subject to harassment or a hostile work environment created by a manager, supervisor, co-worker, or any person within the control of the state and local agency employer.

Retaliation

State and local government employees are protected from retaliatory actions from their government employer. State and local agencies are prohibited from discriminating against a person because the individual opposed discrimination, or because the individual participated in an employment proceeding by filing a charge of discrimination, assisting, testifying or participating in any investigation, litigation, or proceeding under the applicable employment law.

State and local government employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee: (1) by subjecting the employee to harassment or a hostile work environment because the employee opposed employment discrimination or participated in protected activity; or (2) because the employee requested and/or received a reasonable accommodation for the employee’s disability, religion, or religious practice.

Discriminatory & Retaliatory Actions

Federal and Colorado law prohibit discriminatory and retaliatory actions in every phase of the employee-employer relationship. Discrimination and retaliatory actions are prohibited concerning the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment, failure or refusal to hire, discharge, compensation and benefits, assignment of duties, promotion and demotion, discipline, and performance.

EEO Administrative Process

Any individual who believes that he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or retaliation, must file an administrative charge before filing a civil action in court. In Colorado, administrative charges may be filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] or the Colorado Civil Rights Division [CCRD]. A charge with either the EEOC or CCRD is deemed filed with both agencies.

A charge must be filed with the EEOC within 300 days of the discriminatory or retaliatory action and with the CCRD within 180 days of the employment action in issue.

Conclusion

State and local government employees, applicants, and former employees have lawfully protected rights against employment discrimination and retaliation in employment. If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful employment discrimination or retaliation in state and local government employment, call Steven Murray at 720-600-6642.

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