When you believe that you have been discriminated against and file a claim with the appropriate authorities, the end can seem very far away. However, discrimination lawsuits do end, and very often, they will be decided in your favor if you have the right help on your side. Enlisting the right attorney is crucial for finding the best resolution in employment discrimination claims.
When you file a charge with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission (SCHAC) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the first thing they will do is attempt mediation between the two sides of a dispute. Both agencies try to help resolve disputes before it becomes necessary to bring them to court, and sometimes mediation will succeed. However, the majority of cases wind up being investigated by the EEOC.
An EEOC investigation results in one of two outcomes: a complainant will either be granted a Notice of Right to Sue, which means that they can file a lawsuit in the appropriate court against their employer over the alleged discrimination, or it will go to trial with the EEOC taking up the case on your behalf. There are types of charges where a Notice is not required—where someone can simply go ahead and file suit without having to wait for the conclusion of an investigation—but unless you are pursuing an age discrimination lawsuit or a suit based on the Equal Pay Act (EPA), you may not sue without one.
Monetary & Non-Monetary Benefits
If you prevail at trial, the court’s role is to try and put you back in a situation where you are “whole.” This is true regardless of which agency you choose to file your charge with. The aim is to place you back on the same footing that you would have been on had you not been discriminated against. Usually this includes ordering that the employer halt any kind of discriminatory practice, as well as restoring you to the position you had before (or a comparable one).
That said, making you “whole” can include monetary damages, especially if you have been able to document specific instances of discrimination and negative employment action. For example, if you were denied a promotion or pay raise due to the color of your skin, you might be awarded damages that roughly equate to what you might have earned, as well as possibly being awarded the position or a comparable one. There are limits on both compensatory and punitive damages depending on the size of one’s employer.
Contact A South Carolina Employment Discrimination Attorney
Filing a charge can be very intimidating, but it is important to keep in mind that you have the right to do so if you feel you have been discriminated against. Attorney A. Christopher Potts and the firm of Hitchcock & Potts have years of experience in this area, and we are ready and willing to help you finding the best possible resolution in your employment discrimination claim. Contact our firm today to schedule an initial consultation.