Chicago Discrimination Defense Lawyers
Experienced Employment Discrimination Defense Attorneys in Illinois and Throughout the U.S.
Most employers understand that they are not allowed to make employment decisions based on age, race, religion, sex national origin, or disability. However, despite the best efforts of employers, there are times when employees (or prospective employees) believe they have been denied a job or promotion or were wrongfully terminated based on one of the factors mentioned previously. If the employee files a lawsuit or a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is important to work with a skilled attorney that can prepare the strongest possible defense.
Since 1997, Brady, Connolly and Masuda, P.C. has represented employers in Chicago, Illinois and nationwide who have faced charges of discrimination by an employee or group of employees. Our award-winning attorneys put their in-depth experience to work to provide a swift and thorough defense. When a claim is lodged, we perform an extensive investigation to determine the specifics of your case and the best path forward to a favorable resolution. Our proactive approach puts our clients in a position to be successful, and in many cases, it leads to a fast (and less costly) settlement. If litigation becomes necessary, however, we are ready to defend your interests aggressively at all levels of the state and federal judicial system.
How to Prevent a Discrimination Claim
The best way to defend your company against discrimination actions is to have strong measures in place that will prevent employees from bringing a claim in the first place. There are several steps employers can take to avoid discrimination claims:
- Implement Uniform Policies and Procedures: Companies should have specific policies and procedures that are understood by management and employees alike. In particular, policies regarding discrimination should be posted within the workplace and easily viewable by all employees.
- Keep Detailed Employee Records: It is important to have detailed records of your employees, with full documentation of all adverse actions; such as tardiness, poor work quality, insubordination, behavioral issues, etc. These records are essential in proving that the job performance of the employee, not discrimination, was the key factor in the employment decisions made.
- Educate Employees on Discrimination Laws: When one employee treats another in a way that is not in keeping with discrimination laws, the employer could be held legally responsible. For this reason, it is important for all employees to understand the current statutes regarding discrimination completely.
Successful Discrimination Defenses
In Illinois, employment is generally considered to be at will. This means that employers have the right to terminate an employee for any legal reason as long as it is done in good faith. The one exception is if there is a written or implied agreement stating that the employee can only be terminated for certain specified reasons. This principle alone can often be a successful defense for a wrongful termination claim. Other potential defenses include:
- Poor Employee Performance: Many claims are successfully defended based on the job performance of the employee. As mentioned previously, it is important to have well-documented and detailed records for this defense to be effective.
- Failure to Provide Sufficient Employer Notification: Before filing an EEOC discrimination claim, the employee is supposed to notify the employer of the situation and give the employer time to rectify the problem. If proper notification was not given, this could be grounds for a claim denial.
- Failure to Meet Statutory Requirements: For an EEOC discrimination claim to be valid, there are strict deadlines and other criteria that must be met. Failure to meet such requirements can invalidate the claim.
If successful, an employment discrimination claim can exact a major financial toll on your company. To prevent this from happening, you need strong legal counsel in your corner fighting to protect your rights. For a personalized consultation with one of our experienced Illinois discrimination defense attorneys, contact us today at 312-425-3131. From our offices in Chicago and Bloomington/Normal, we provide skilled representation for clients based in Illinois.