You depend on your job to provide the income and benefits you and your family need to survive. When disputes occur either on the job site or with your employer, it can put your financial security and overall well-being at stake. If you are the victim of discrimination due to a workplace conflict, a personal injury lawyer in Tulsa, OK can discuss your legal options with you.
The team at BDIW Law represents clients in employment law and civil rights lawsuits. Our Tulsa employment law lawyer can review your case right away. Contact us today to get started.
Employment Discrimination in Tulsa
Per Oklahoma Title VII, employment discrimination is illegal. A business cannot discriminate against a worker based on this individual’s sex, color, religion, national origin, or other criteria. Also, it is against the law for a company to retaliate against an employee who files a complaint relating to discrimination.
Along with Title VII, Oklahoma has an Anti-Discrimination Act in effect based on Okla. Stat. tit. 25, §§1101-1706. This act prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation. In addition, it promotes the enforcement of other civil rights-related laws.
The Office of Civil Rights Enforcement (OCRE) helps enforce Oklahoma’s anti-discrimination laws and provides educational resources to businesses and citizens. If you are a victim of work discrimination, you can submit a complaint to this office. A Tulsa employment law attorney can help you file your complaint in accordance with OCRE’s requirements.
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Process to Submit a Workplace Discrimination Complaint
There is a deadline of 180 days to file an employment discrimination complaint. This window opens on the date of the last alleged discriminatory act against you. During this period, you have the right to hire an employment law lawyer in Tulsa who can help you with your claim.
OCRE reviews each complaint it receives. If the office determines the complaint is valid, it will open an investigation. At this point, the office sends a copy of the complaint to the accused party, requests a statement that outlines the respondent’s position and asks for any evidence that this party wants to provide.
During its investigation, OCRE interviews witnesses and collects evidence. It determines if there is reasonable cause to believe that the alleged discrimination took place. If there is not enough evidence to support the allegation, the office will dismiss it.
How an OCRE Employment Discrimination Investigation Works
There is no set amount of time required to complete an OCRE investigation. The office views each complaint as its own entity. The length of time required for the investigation varies based on many factors, such as:
- Nature of the complaint
- Number of issues involved and their complexity
- How willing parties are to cooperate with the investigation
- An investigator’s caseload
You do not need to hire an employer law attorney in Tulsa to assist you with your complaint. However, doing so can be beneficial. Your lawyer can answer frequently asked questions and many others about the investigative process and help you build a compelling case against anyone who discriminated against you at work.
After an OCRE Investigation
Following an investigation by OCRE, several things can happen. The office may decide on administrative closure of the case, issue a notice that indicates a finding of cause that a discriminatory act happened, or note that there was no cause finding. It may also provide a dismissal and a notice of your right to file suit within 90 days, conciliation and settlement of your complaint, or submit a civil enforcement action.
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What to Do If You Are the Victim of Employment Discrimination
Everyone deserves the right to work in an environment free of discrimination. Employment discrimination happens when a business treats an employee less favorably than their peers due to their sexual identity, gender factors, or other criteria, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Examples of workplace discrimination include:
- Promoting only some employees based on their sex or race
- Requiring math tests or lifting requirements that are unrelated to a job to screen out certain groups of applicants
- Denying paid sick leave to female employees while they recover from childbirth
- Firing an employee after they discuss their pay with a coworker
If you are unsure about what to do with an employment discrimination complaint, partner with BDIW Law. Our team will protect your legal rights if you are forced to deal with discrimination, job safety violations, or other workplace issues. For more information, get in touch with us.
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Workplace Safety Laws in Oklahoma
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, workers are entitled to have safe and healthful working conditions. This means a business must provide its employees with a workspace free of hazards. The act focuses on several types of hazards that must be removed from the workplace, including:
- Toxic chemicals
- Excessive noise levels
- Hot or cold stress
- Mechanical dangers
These hazards and many others can prompt a workers’ compensation claim. For instance, an employer may choose to ignore an on-the-job hazard, and a worker can suffer an injury as a result. In this instance, the worker may file for workers’ comp, and their employer may try to avoid paying the claim.
There can also be instances where an employee reports a workplace hazard to their employer and is wrongfully terminated. If this happens, the worker is the victim of discrimination. The worker may be eligible to file a claim for damages against their employer.
Labor and Wage Laws in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has statutes in place relating to labor and wages. These employment rights generally apply to workers across the state. They include:
- Any employees who are not paid a salary must receive compensation every two weeks.
- For overtime, Oklahoma requires employers to pay 1.5 times an employee’s standard compensation.
- Oklahoma employers cannot purposely pay women at a rate less than that of men for comparable work on jobs that require comparable skill, effort, and responsibility.
- If a business terminates a worker’s employment, it is required to pay the employee’s full wages unless there is a disagreement on the amount that this individual is owed.
If you are dealing with problems involving hours, wages, and benefits, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney. You may find that your employer is violating various labor and wage laws. If so, you may have grounds for a claim against your employer.
Wrongful Termination in Oklahoma
An employee is wrongfully terminated when they lose their job in spite of a violation of a federal or state law. There are many instances where you may be eligible to file a wrongful dismissal claim. Times where someone may be able to claim that they were fired illegally include:
Oklahoma is an at-will employment state. As such, employers typically can fire a worker for any reason and at any time. Regardless, federal statutes protect against wrongful termination, and they can give you the opportunity to sue an employer that fires you illegally.
Those who believe they may be the victim of a wrongful termination should consult with a lawyer. If you have a legitimate claim, your attorney can help you gather evidence, collect witness statements, and prepare a case against your employer. They can also negotiate on your behalf and may secure a settlement for you.
What a Tulsa Employment and Labor Law Attorney Offers
A Tulsa employment and labor law lawyer serves as your legal representative. They provide legal guidance as you submit a claim against your employer. Your Tulsa employment law attorney can handle many legal tasks for you, including:
- Investigating your case and identifying what laws have been violated
- Gathering employee records and other evidence to support your claim
- Filing a grievance with your employer and state and federal agencies
- Helping you get reinstated at work or receiving payment for any lost wages or benefits
- Addressing your concerns and questions as you move through the legal process
BDIW Law is a law firm with a wealth of experience in Tulsa employment law cases. Our team can examine your case and help you determine the best course of action. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.
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