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Discrimination complaint: what does the filing process involve?

Discrimination is a serious offense, so for anyone who experiences it, filing a complaint can help put a stop to this illegal behavior. Like many states, Indiana has laws in place to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. Whether you have been personally discriminated against or are acting as a whistleblower, you have the right to complain about an employer discriminating against you, a fellow employee or applicant.

Filing a complaint against an employer for discrimination is not a quick and easy process. In Indiana, an employee or applicant can file a complaint against an employer if they feel they were discriminated against, but there is criteria under the Indiana Civil Rights Act and federal laws that they must meet before doing so. For example, the discriminatory act cannot have occurred more than 180 days past the date of the complaint being filed and the employer has to have at least six employees. Federal laws require that if someone wishes to complain about an employer discriminating, the employer must have at least 15 employees. You are still allowed to sue said employer for discrimination under either law, but ultimately the decision to prosecute is up to the state's law.

Once you have determined if you meet the criteria and have filed the complaint, mediation may occur. This is an attempt for the parties involved to resolve the issue before an investigation is completed. If it cannot be resolved , then an investigation follows, which will prove or disprove to evidence of discrimination. After the investigation, parties will be notified if a hearing or civil action is required.

Prior to pursuing legal action against your employer, you may have complained to them about your concerns of discrimination in the workplace. If this occurred and you were retaliated against, you can also file a claim for retaliation. This goes for those who have been discriminated against as well as those who are whistleblowers, in which case you are protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

You should be treated fairly in your place of employment no matter your age, race, sex, etc. If you feel as though your employer is guilty of discrimination, you may want to contact an Indiana employment rights attorney to discuss the case.

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