What is the statute of limitations for race discrimination cases in Virginia? And how soon should you talk to an Alexandria, VA employment lawyer if you suspect you have been racially discriminated against?
Essentially, you need to get your employment lawyer to file a charge of race discrimination with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) before you file your Title VII lawsuit. There are certain time limits for both of these filings, which is why you need to consult with a qualified employment lawyer in Alexandria, VA at the earliest opportunity.
About Race Discrimination
Basically, both Section 1981 and Title VII expressly prohibit race discrimination at the workplace. If you feel that you are facing race discrimination at work, you need to consult with an Alexandria employment lawyer to discuss your options and understand your rights and freedoms.
Your lawyer will also help you assess the situation, and figure out the best route to take. Additionally, if you decide to file a Title VII lawsuit, your attorney will ensure that you meet all the statutes of limitations for race discrimination cases in Alexandria, VA.
Statutes Prohibiting Racial Discrimination
Anyway, race discrimination is prohibited by 2 federal statutes: Section 1981 and Title VII. In addition, Virginia expressly prohibits this form of discrimination at the workplace.
Although both of these statutes were expressly passed for purposes of protecting groups that were historically disadvantaged (particularly African-Americans), they now protect people from all races against employment discrimination.
a) Title VII
This law was passed as part and parcel of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Today, it prohibits discrimination at the workplace on the basis of such protected characteristics as national origin, color, and race.
b) Section 1981
Passed in 1866, this law emerged after the Civil War and during the Reconstruction Era. It declared African-Americans to be US citizens. As such, African Americans are entitled to enjoy the rights that were previously a preserve for the whites. These rights, to this end, include but are not limited to the right to enforce and make contracts—which is interpreted by courts to cover the right to work free of all forms of racial discrimination.
So, what should you do when you face employment discrimination? In case you feel that you are being discriminated against on the basis of your color or race, you need to talk to a qualified employment lawyer immediately.
Your attorney will assess the situation you find yourself in and help you make a decision about the next course of action to take. In case you are still on the job, they will help you navigate through the employer’s complaint and investigation process.
However, if you have already lost your employment, the attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with your former employer. Similarly, should you decide to file a lawsuit, the lawyer will help you decide which of the race discrimination statutes to sue under—and the best way to approach the lawsuit.
a) Suing under Title VII
In case you decide to sue your employer under Title VII, you first need to file a charge of race discrimination with the EEOC, the federal agency that interprets and enforces all anti-discrimination laws in the country.
Filing this charge is legally required before you can file a lawsuit. Similarly, you need to file the charge of the racially discriminatory act.
After filing the charge, the commission will decide how best to handle the case. They might, for instance, dismiss the charge in case there is a lack of jurisdiction over the case for one reason or the other.
In most cases, the agency will conduct an investigation to determine whether the charges are true. Alternatively, it might decide to mediate a settlement between your employer (former or current) and you. In the rarest of cases, the commission might even litigate the case and the lawsuit on your behalf.
After processing the charge, you will receive a right to sue letter informing you that you can now sue your employer. When you get this letter, you will have to file the case within 90 days at a court of law.
b) Suing under Section 1981
On the other hand, if you decide to file the lawsuit under Section 1981, you won’t be required to file the discrimination charge with the EEOC. Instead, your employment lawyer can take you straight to court for this.
However, the statute of limitations for race discrimination cases under Section 1981 is set at 4 years. This is one of the reasons why most affected parties choose to use Section 1981—because it has a longer time limit.
Contact The Brown Firm PLLC Today
Do you feel like you were discriminated against on account of your race or national origin? Looking to right the wrongs meted against you at your place of employment? Then give us a call or send us a message online today to schedule a confidential legal consultation. The Brown Firm PLLC, an Alexandria, VA employment lawyer, will help you navigate the law and ensure you are rightfully compensated for the injustice that was dealt to you.