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Fighting back against workplace discrimination

If an Indiana employer has more than six employees, an employee or applicant for employment may be able to file a discrimination complaint against that employer. The complaint must also be filed within 180 days of the occurrence of the alleged act. State and federal laws dictate that no employee or applicant for employment may be discriminated against based on their gender, nationality or race. They may also not be discriminated against due to a disability.

A complaint may be filed by visiting the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, mailing or faxing the complaint or by making a complaint by phone. When the complaint is received, it will be processed and the person making the complaint will be told what their rights and responsibilities are throughout the process. Before an investigation begins, mediation may take place between the employee and the employer in an attempt to resolve the issue.

If an investigation is needed, a determination will be made after an impartial fact-finding process as to whether there is evidence of discrimination. If it is determined that discrimination may have taken place, the person who made the complaint will be notified. Legal action may then be taken against the employer or other remedies may be pursued to resolve the situation.

An employment law attorney may be able to assist an individual who has been a victim of workplace harassment. It may be possible for an attorney to advise an individual regarding the complaint process. Additionally, legal counsel may be helpful in representing an employee or applicant if an investigation reveals evidence of age or race discrimination. Should evidence of discrimination come to light, the victim of such discrimination may be entitled to compensation or reinstatement to their old job.

Source: Indiana Civil Rights Commission, "Protection Areas - Employment", September 13, 2014

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