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Why suing an employer can be difficult

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids most employers in New York from treating workers differently based on their gender, race or national origin. However, some companies still find ways to violate Title VII, and it's often difficult to file a lawsuit for discrimination. For instance, the time it takes to resolve such a case could mean delayed justice for a worker.

Employers may also ask workers to sign away their rights to take legal action in exchange for receiving a severance package. That may force a worker to choose between having money while unemployed or filing a suit and getting nothing. Since most employment is at-will, an employer may fire an employee for any reason not deemed to be discriminatory. If an employer doesn't admit that a termination was discriminatory, it could be tougher to prove a case in court.

The financial costs and deadlines associated with an employment law case may also present difficult hurdles to overcome. In the event that a company has fewer than 15 employees, it is not covered by federal Title VII guidelines. Those who live in states such as Alabama and Texas that don't have state laws covering smaller companies may not have any recourse at all.

Workers who feel that they have faced discrimination in the workplace can talk to an attorney about their rights. In some cases, workers may wish to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for back pay or other damages incurred. An attorney may review a case to determine if a worker faced discrimination.

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