The Employment Law Group®: Our Experience Delivers Results
The Employment Law Group® law firm is a recognized leader in the field of employment discrimination law and has successfully fought to protect employees' rights in the workplace while establishing important legal precedents protecting the rights of discrimination victims in the following areas:
- Gender Discrimination
- Age Discrimination
- Racial and National Origin Discrimination
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Discrimination
- USERRA/Veteran Discrimination
The Employment Law Group® law firm has an extensive gender discrimination practice and has broad experience fighting for the rights of employees who have been the victims of discrimination in the workplace.
The Employment Law Group® law firm has represented clients who have brought claims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, claims of discriminatory pay and retaliation under the Equal Pay Act, claims of discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and other claims of gender-based discrimination under various state and local laws.
- In Cooke v. United States, The Employment Law Group® law firm obtained a $466,000 judgment for a female client who was paid less than her male co-workers in similar positions. The case established important precedents in the area of gender discrimination law under the Equal Pay Act, with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims holding that the offending employer bears a “heavy burden” in proving that a difference in pay is it not the result of gender discrimination. Additionally, the court held that the female employee had a right to choose one male employee’s salary to serve as the basis for calculating her damages, rather than having her salary compared to all male employees performing a similar job thus maximizing her recoverable damages.
- The Employment Law Group® law firm succeeded in obtaining a $1 million jury award for a victim of sexual harassment. In Sterling v. Atlantic Automotive Corporation The Employment Law Group® law firm represented an employee whose supervisor subjected her to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment by her supervisor and who continued his pattern of abuse even after the employee filed a complaint.
- The Employment Law Group® law firm won a $650,000 award in a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in which the client retaliated against her for reporting a colleague’s gender discrimination complaint to her supervisor.
- The Employment Law Group® law firm represented two clients who obtained a $101,000 jury verdict in a lawsuit against Virginia Tech. The jury found that Virginia Tech discriminated against the two female employees by paying them less than their male counterparts and retaliated against one of the employees for complaining about the wage disparity.
- In Breeden v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., a The Employment Law Group® law firm client was awarded a $579,338 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) jury verdict. Ms. Breeden worked for Novartis as a pharmaceutical sales representative and after announcing that she was pregnant, the company cut her sales territory, leaving her fewer accounts. After returning from maternity leave, the company informed her that the changes would be permanent and eventually eliminated her position all together. The jury found that Novaritis retaliated against Ms. Breeden and the court awarded her backpay and liquidated damages.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination and protects all workers 40 years of age or older in the US. The ADEA makes it illegal for an employer to fire, fail to hire, or otherwise alter the conditions, terms, or privileges of employment because of an employee's age
- In Inman v. Klockner-Pentaplast, The Employment Law Group® law firm represented a former Vice President of Technology at Klockner Pentaplast of America who presented evidence that employer fired him because of his age while the company was undertaking efforts to create the appearance of a younger and revitalized firm. Arguing before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, The Employment Law Group® attorneys obtained a reversal of the lower court's grant of summary judgment against Mr. Inman thereby allowing him to use the statements of non-decision makers in the company to show that the reasons offered by the company for his termination were pretextual. This decision set an important precedent in ADEA litigation.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against an employee because of an employee's disability or perceived disability. Under the ADA, an employee is considered disabled if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity. The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees such as making facilities more accessible or modifying work schedules, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship.
- In Fink v. Richmond, The Employment Law Group® law firm represented a schoolteacher in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit who was unable to continue her job after undergoing surgery for esophageal cancer. The teacher requested a new position that she believed would better accommodate her disability, however the school district refused to accommodate this request and placed her in a position as a substitute teacher.
Racial and National Origin Discrimination [Back to top.]
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids employers from discriminating against employees or potential employees on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin. Federal law also protects employees against retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination or participating in an investigation of discriminatory practices. Title VII has been interpreted to prohibit discrimination against employees because of their ancestry, birthplace, culture, or linguistic characteristics that are common to a specific ethnic group.
While there is currently no federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, many states have enacted laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in employment and 17 states and the District of Columbia prohibit gender identity discrimination in employment.
Additionally, recent U.S. Supreme Court and appellate court decisions have broadened the scope of Title VII's protections by holding that Title VII prohibits discrimination against employees simply because their behavior or appearance does not conform to traditional gender or sex stereotypes. In many instances, LGBT employees are able to bring Title VII claims in federal court if they experience workplace discrimination on the basis of gender.
- The Employment Law Group® law firm client defeated a motion to dismiss a case involving an accountant who raised claims of sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation by his employer in violation of the D.C. and Maryland Human Rights Acts. The employee alleged that a co-worker made threatening gestures in his presence and made anti-gay remarks on several occasions. The employee was terminated shortly after the incident. By overcoming the motion to dismiss, the former employee won the right to proceed and later reached a settlement with his former employer
Section 4311 of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits employers from terminating or refusing to hire, retain, reemploy, or promote an individual because he or she is, has been, or is applying to become a member of the armed forces. The law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who complain about such discrimination or participate in an investigation of possible discrimination
- The Employment Law Group® law firm attorneys are recognized leaders in the field of employment discrimination law and published a guide for protecting employees covered by USERRA entitled “Litigating Claims Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act”. The guide was published in the Fall 2010 edition of Employee Advocate, a publication of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).
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