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Portland, Maine Discrimination Lawyers

Attorneys Fighting Employment Discrimination in Maine

Employers who engage in discrimination against protected classes have violated United States and Maine law. Since 1994, the employment discrimination lawyers of the Maine Employee Rights Group have represented employees in discrimination disputes in Bangor, Portland, and throughout the Pine Tree state. If your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of your gender, race, disability, or other protected trait, you may be entitled to compensation.

Gender Discrimination Includes Sexual Harassment

Employers cannot discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of gender or sex. Generally, there are two types of gender discrimination. The first and most basic occurs when an employer confers or denies employment benefits because of a person’s gender.

The second type of gender discrimination is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment itself comes in two sub-types. A hostile work environment occurs when a boss or co-worker behaves in a way that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or when unwelcome conduct interferes with a person’s ability to do his or her job.

Quid pro quo harassment happens less frequently than hostile work environment harassment, but it is no less serious. It occurs when an employer, supervisor, or colleague offers to exchange sexual behavior for employment benefits. A promotion contingent on sleeping with the boss or receiving favorable hours in exchange for a date with the scheduling manager are two examples of quid pro quo harassment.

Race-Based Discrimination is Illegal in Maine

Racially motivated employment discrimination is also banned in Maine. The basic definition of racial discrimination is denying or providing employment benefits to employees on the basis of an employee’s race.

There is another possible component to racial discrimination: racial harassment. Racial harassment occurs when an employer or another employee creates an environment that is hostile, offensive, or intimidating, or that interferes with an employee’s ability to perform the tasks of his or her job. There are many types of behavior that may constitute unlawful racial harassment, so ask an experienced attorney if you think your employer is liable in relation to this kind of conduct.

Other Types of Prohibited Employment Discrimination

Although race and gender discrimination may be two of the most prominent types of employment discrimination, employers are barred from engaging in other forms of discrimination and harassment, including those based on:

  • Religion;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Physical or mental disability; and
  • Age.

If you are not sure whether you have been the victim of unlawful employment discrimination, ask an experienced discrimination attorney.

U.S. and Maine Law Protect Employees from Discrimination

There are two primary laws that protect workers in Maine from employment discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law applicable to employers everywhere in the country, including Maine. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, race, national origin (ethnicity), religion, and other traits. The Civil Rights Act does not ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Maine Human Rights Act picks up where the federal Civil Right Act leaves off. It protects Maine workers from discrimination based on many of the same attributes as the federal law as well as others, such as sexual orientation. Other laws, such as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act all work together to prohibit employment discrimination based on a number of personal characteristics.

Victims of harassment are often able to file a lawsuit against their employer to recover compensation for the financial and emotional harm caused by their employer's actions. In some case, punitive damages are available if the employer’s behavior warrants punishment.

Do Not Let Your Employer Violate Your Rights

You should not have to tolerate gender, race, or other kinds of discrimination at work. The employment discrimination attorneys at the Maine Employee Rights Group work every day to help clients faced with unlawful employer conduct. If you have been discriminated against on the basis of your race, disability, or sexual orientation, you have the power to stand up for your rights. To schedule a case evaluation, call 207.874.0905 or email us today.