Employment Discrimination Defined
Employment discrimination can happen at any stage of the employment process-from hiring to firing. Common examples include: not getting a job offer; applying for one job and getting another, usually involving less pay; not given a promotion or other job related benefits; being harassed or abused at work; having to retire before you are ready; and getting fired. In fact, any adverse action by your employer may give rise to a violation of employment discrimination laws.
Always remember that employment discrimination depends on an adverse action by the employer based on your membership in a protected group. General protections provided by federal law extend to qualities such as your race, color, age (40 or older), religion, nationality, sex, family size or pregnancy, and disability. Nevada law adds sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to these protected qualities.
Along with being a member of a protected group, you must be qualified for the job, promotion, or other job related benefit. For example, a qualified man and woman apply for the same job. The employer offers the job to the man and discriminates against the woman because of her sex. This would be employment discrimination. However, the employer would have the opportunity to dispute the discrimination charge by showing the man was more qualified or some other non-discriminatory reason for not hiring the woman.
Employment discrimination laws apply to employment agencies and labor organizations.
Reasonable Accomodation of Your Disability
Under the ADA, “disability” is defined as an impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Employer has to accommodate your disability by allowing reasonable modifications to the elements of your job, your job description, and responsibilities.
The ADA applies to employers who receive some federal financial assistance and employ 15 or more employees. 28 CFR Part 42.103. Generally, federal law applies to any employer who has 15 or more employees. For age discrimination claims, the employer must have at least 20 employees. Nevada law only requires 15 employees or more for ALL claims. Employment discrimination laws do NOT apply to not-for-profit organizations, any Indian tribe, and the United States and any corporation wholly owned by the United States.
You do not need to be a lawyer to present a legally sufficient request for accommodation to your employer. To protect your rights, you should submit a written request to your employer asking for changes to your job duties or restructuring of your job to accommodate your disability. The ADA may also require the employer to allow an indeterminate amount of leave, barring the employer’s undue hardship, as a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation also may required your employer to provide an equivalent vacant position, reduced work hours, or any other mutually acceptable accommodation.
Filing Discrimination Claims
You may file your employment discrimination complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You cannot file a lawsuit unless you first complain to either NERC or EEOC.
You have 180 days to file an employment discrimination claim with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC). These days are counted from the date of the last day of discrimination. If you want to file the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you have 300 days only if you have filed a complaint with NERC within 180 days.
EEOC’s Nevada Office is at 333 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Suite 8112, Las Vegas, Nevada (702) 388-5094. For those outside of Clark County, the toll-free number is (800) 669-4000. For hearing impaired, the TTY number is (800) 669-6820. The Office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact information for NERC is as follows:
|Equal Rights Commission||Equal Rights Commission|
|Las Vegas||Northern Nevada (Inside JobConnect)|
|555 E. Washington Avenue, Suite 4000||1675 East Prater Way, Suite 103|
|Las Vegas, NV 89101||Sparks, NV 89434|
|Phone (702) 486-7161||Phone (775) 823-6690|
|Fax (702) 486-7054||Fax (775) 688-1292|