Can I File a Claim for Employment Discrimination in NM?

Discrimination is ravaging America’s employment sphere. Many employers treat some employees differently based on sex, race, and other criteria, termed employment discrimination. Work colleagues aren’t left out either. Instead, inspired by the employer, employees discriminate amongst themselves. Unfortunately, many victims of discrimination don’t know whether they have legal remedies.

So, do you think you’re facing discrimination at work? If you think so, it’ll be best to talk to an Albuquerque employment lawyer today. An excellent lawyer will know when protected groups are the victims of discrimination. In addition, such an attorney can file a claim for legal remedies against the erring parties.

What Is Employment Discrimination?

Employment discrimination describes when employees treat a person or group differently from others. Usually, such different treatment is because of the victim’s membership in a protected group. Furthermore, such categories are defined by sex, gender, age, or religion.

Most American states have laws against workplace discrimination. There are also relevant federal laws on the subject. Some of them include:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

Therefore, you can file an employment discrimination claim based on these laws. In addition, a federal agency regulates workplace discrimination. The relevant agency here is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Notably, too, the EEOC regulates companies with 15 employees and above.

Classes New Mexico’s Laws Protect From Employment Discrimination

New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law is the Human Rights Act. This Act makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate based on:

  • Race and color
  • Sex
  • Nationality and ancestry
  • Religion
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Age
  • Spousal affiliation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Severe medical conditions
  • Genetic information

Notably, the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a recent development. Furthermore, the Human Rights Bureau (HRB) is the administrative agency for New Mexico employment discrimination claims. It covers businesses with fewer employees than federal law requires. So, your employer is under this agency’s jurisdiction if they have 4-14 employees.

Should I File a State or Federal Claim?

Both the EEOC and HRB can handle employment discrimination cases; they’re effective too. However, your employer’s business size determines which agency you can file a claim with. Therefore, if your employer has less than 15 workers, you can only file a federal lawsuit. But if your employer has 15 or more employees, you can file a state or federal claim.

Both agencies have a “work-sharing arrangement.” That is, they cooperate in claims processing. So, it’s unnecessary to file double claims. You can even notify one agency that you want to “cross-file” your claim with the other agency.

Are There Time Limits for Albuquerque Employment Discrimination Claims?

Yes, you don’t have forever to file an employment discrimination suit. Instead, you must institute legal action within strict periods. For example, if you’re filing a state claim or cross-filing with the EEOC, you must do so within 180 days. Your time starts counting from the date of the discrimination.

Conversely, you have 300 days to file with the EEOC or cross-file with the state agency. Your time also starts counting from the date you believe your employer discriminated against you.

How a Discrimination Claim Works

A claim with the EEOC usually undergoes investigation. After this, the EEOC will recommend a mediation program with your employer. Alternatively, the EEOC can ask your employer for a written answer to your claim. Finally, the agency can dismiss your claim if you filed late or it doesn’t have jurisdiction.

An EEOC investigation may take a while, depending on the number of witnesses they have to interview. However, after the investigation, if they determine that you suffered any discrimination, they can give you a “Notice of Right to Sue” that allows you to file a lawsuit.

Usually, you’ll get this notice if the EEOC determines that there’s a real case of discrimination but doesn’t want to sue by itself. The HRB will issue you a “non-determination” notice in similar circumstances. You cannot file a federal or state claim without passing through these respective agencies.

Albuquerque Employment Lawyers Can Help You!

Do you think your employer is discriminating against you? Have you suffered any disadvantages because of such discrimination? If that’s the case, you can file a claim against the business owner. First, however, you’ll need the best Albuquerque employment lawyers.

At FBD Law, our attorneys have extensive experience in New Mexico’s employment law. So, we can properly analyze your case to identify any grounds for a discrimination suit. Therefore, it’ll be best to call our law office today for a consultation.

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