1. How long do I have to file a claim of employment discrimination?
You must act quickly to protect your rights for employment claims. In Minnesota, you only have one year to bring any claim for employment discrimination or you lose your right to sue forever. For some claims – even in Minnesota – you may have less than a year. In some states outside of Minnesota, you must bring employment claims within 180 days of the unlawful act. The bottom line is that you must act quickly to preserve your rights in cases of employment discrimination. If you believe that you have suffered discrimination in the workplace, contact Madia Law immediately.
2. Can my employer fire me if I bring a claim of discrimination?
No. Both state and federal law prohibit retaliation of any kind by employers against employees for bringing or participating in equal employment opportunity claims. If your employer takes any action against you because of your claim, then your employer will be subject to additional state and federal retaliation and reprisal claims.
3. What role do the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Minnesota Department of Human rights play in eliminating employment discrimination?
The most important thing to remember is that – in order to even bring a discrimination claim in federal court – you must first file with the EEOC and give it a chance to investigate. This can sometimes be a very good thing, as the EEOC forces employers to respond to complaints, and that gives us a preview of what defenses employers may try to use later in litigation. Sometimes, the EEOC or MDHR may even choose to litigate cases on behalf of plaintiffs and obtain money damages and injunctive relief.
4. What laws protect me from police brutality and excessive force?
42 U.S.C. 1983 serves as the main statutory authority that allows citizens to sue state and municipal law enforcement officers and agencies for conduct that violates their civil rights. The Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution prevent unreasonable searches and seizures by the state and guarantee “due process” of law to all citizens. These statutory and constitutional authorities form the legal foundation of most excessive force cases against law enforcement.
5. What if I can’t afford a lawyer?
The employment discrimination and civil rights statutes authorize your attorney fees to be paid by your employer if you are successful in your case. The reason for these attorney fee provisions is to encourage individuals who have had their rights violated to step forward regardless of their personal wealth or ability to pay fees. Madia Law takes cases on contingency fee, meaning that it only collects fees if its successful in your case – you will not need to pay any hourly fees.