Tristate Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Attorneys
The Legal Landscape for Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
Federal and state laws—supplemented with a patchwork of local ordinances— prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in employment.
Under federal law, covered employers may not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on any of the following base:
- Genetic information;
- National origin;
- Race or color;
- Religion; or
Most businesses that operate in the tristate area are also subject to similar state laws, such as the West Virginia Human Rights Act, the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, or the Ohio Civil Rights Act.
Employers navigating these federal- and state-regulated waters benefit from consultation with labor and employment attorneys who are familiar with all relevant laws, regulations, and ordinances. In the greater Huntington area and beyond, the labor and employment attorneys at Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC are that resource.
Employment Discrimination Prevention and Defense
Shrewd business owners and managers know that preventing employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims is better—and cheaper—than mounting the best possible defense. These claims cause losses not only in time and resources but also in productivity. They also damage a company’s culture and reputation.
Jenkins Fenstermaker’s labor and employment attorneys help employers in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio establish workplace policies and practices to prevent actions that could give rise to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claims. With strong policies in place, employers have sound guidance for making employment decisions and managing employees in compliance with relevant laws.
Our attorneys also offer training for management and other personnel on how to identify discrimination and harassment as well as how to establish and maintain a non-discriminatory workplace. Because our attorneys stay current with changes in the law, they’re the first line of defense to keeping you and your employees current, too.
Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Defense
In the event an employee files a claim, knowing how to respond appropriately and in a timely fashion is key. Jenkins Fenstermaker’s labor and employment team is skilled in discrimination, harassment, and retaliation defense in the tristate area, regardless of whether an employee is pursuing a claim before a local or state agency or in court.
Our labor and employment attorneys regularly represent clients in state and local administrative proceedings like these:
- In West Virginia, the Human Rights Commission, which has the power not only to investigate charges of discrimination but also to hear and decide cases and award damages;
- In Kentucky, the Commission on Human Rights, which enforces the KY Human Rights Act, investigates complaints, and attempts to mediate or conciliate disputes between employers and employees; and
- In Ohio, the Civil Rights Commission, which investigates charges, requests documents and interviews, and visits the employer’s place of business.
An employer is best served in any of these forums by a skilled tristate discrimination, harassment, and retaliation defense attorney.
Defend against EEOC Charges
In some cases, an employee may file a discrimination, harassment, or retaliation claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC, a federal agency with offices throughout the country, assists employees in filing charges of discrimination. The office investigates the employees’ claims filed before issuing a “right to sue” letter, which allows the employee to file a lawsuit against the employer.
While employees often take the step of filing an EEOC charge without an attorney, an employer should retain counsel as soon as it is aware of a charge. An employer’s involvement in the case before the EEOC—with the support of counsel—can be critical to achieving a favorable outcome in that forum or in a later lawsuit.
For legal help in preventing claims, contact the tristate discrimination, harassment, and retaliation attorneys at Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC. Submit our contact form, call the Huntington office at (304) 523-2100, or dial toll-free: (866) 617-4736.