Area of Law:
Most states have at least some laws in place at the state level to supplement the federal civil rights laws that protect against racial discrimination in the workplace. Delaware is one of those states to have comprehensive laws that prohibit any kind of discriminatory policies or behavior that would favor one race over another. The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act ensures that all employees of every race and skin color have the same rights and privileges. This act also provides for parties who have been discriminated against to take legal action against their employers in order to get the situation rectified and collect any payment due in terms of damages or back pay, if applicable.The Delaware Department of Labor takes discrimination claims very seriously, and whether you are planning on pursuing your case at the state or federal level, you can make your complaint at your local DDOL location. The DDOL cooperates with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) so that both agencies have all the information that is needed to help move your case forward. If you want to file a complaint with the DDOL, you must do so within 120 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory incident. In other words, this is not a facility where you can come in years after the fact and sue your ex-employer for discriminating against you. The incident in question must have happened within the past four months, roughly speaking, though it is beneficial to file as soon as possible to avoid any clashes with other legal deadlines that you may unknowingly face.Depending on what your lawyer advises you to do, you may want to file with the EEOC at the federal level and pursue you claim that way. If this is the case, the statute of limitations is 180 days from the time of the alleged discriminatory incident. After investigating your claim, the EEOC will issue you a right-to-sue document. At this point, you may file a lawsuit against your employer.Many cases of racial discrimination in the workplace go unreported, and there are several reasons for this. Usually, it is because the person being discriminated against needs the job and is afraid of retaliation if they report their employer for breaking the law as the penalties for being found guilty of discrimination are quite severe for businesses. Of course, it is also against the law for a company to retaliate against an employee for upholding the law and protecting their civil rights. If, however, your employer does fire you or otherwise take action against you for filing a discrimination complaint, you can add this incident to your discrimination case as evidence.Employers in Delaware are required to post visible notices in the workplace to advice employees of their rights under the DDOL and the EEOC. You can refer to these notices to help inform you of your rights and give you some indication of whether you should seek the advice of a lawyer.