Federal and state laws prohibit employer discrimination against certain protected classes of employees. This includes not discriminating against employees on the basis of their:
- Country of national origin
- Sexual orientation
There are specific laws governing each type of discrimination and measures employers can take to avoid allegations of discrimination. In order to prevail on a discrimination claim, an employee must prove the employer took an identifiable “adverse action” based only upon the employee’s membership in a protected class.
The state of Idaho has its own set of anti-discrimination laws based on the same list of protected classes. The state encourages employees who feel they are being discriminated against to contact the Idaho Commission on Human Rights. They may be able to help you come to an informal and confidential resolution.
Both state and federal law also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who has filed a complaint or objected to the discriminatory act. Retaliation may include acts of:
- Failing to recommend the employee for a promotion
- Not offering overtime work to the employee when other employees are being offered it, and the employee has worked overtime in the past
- Giving the employee unpleasant assignments
- Terminating the employee for no reason other than the employee filing a complaint
At Bolton law, whether you are an employer being accused of discrimination, or an employee who believes you were discriminated against by your employer, contact us. We can help.
Resources For Employment Law Clients
If you believe that you have been the victim of employment discrimination based on the protected classes mentioned above, you can file a discrimination claim either with the federal administrative agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or the state administrative agency, the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC). The two agencies have a “work-sharing agreement”, meaning that the agencies cooperate to process claims. Whichever claim you decide to file, make sure to indicate that you want your claim to be “cross-filed”, which makes it unnecessary to file with both agencies. One Important point: Idaho anti-discrimination law covers smaller businesses than federal law. An employer with as few as 5 employees is covered in Idaho. Whether you are protected by the federal anti-discrimination laws, depends on the type of employer and the number of employees .” Otherwise, you may file with either agency.
This process is time-sensitive, so do not delay filing an employment-discrimination claim. For the IHRC, you must file a claim with one year of the date you believe you were discriminated against. For the EEOC, the deadline for filing is 300 days. It is important to note that you might have other claims with shorter deadlines. Before filing a claim, we suggest you schedule a consultation with Bolton Law or another employment law attorney who can help you with this process.
After you file your claim with the EEOC or IHRC, the agency may do one of the following:
- Ask both you and the employer to take part in a mediation program
- Ask the employer to provide a written answer to your charge and answer questions related to your claim, then your charge will be given to an investigator
- Dismiss the claim if your charge was not filed in time or if the EEOC does not have jurisdiction
If the agency completes the investigation (option 2), which takes about 3-6 months, and finds discrimination did not occur, they will send you a “Notice of Right to Sue”. This is not uncommon and will allow you to file a lawsuit in either State or Federal court. If they find that discrimination did occur , they will try and achieve a voluntary settlement with the employer. If unachievable, the agency’s legal team will determine if they should file a lawsuit, otherwise they will give you a “Notice of Right to Sue”. In order to pursue an employment discrimination case in court, you must exhaust this administrative remedy.
When you receive a “Notice of Right to Sue”, you have 90 days to file a lawsuit in state or federal court. We highly suggest that you consult with an employment discrimination attorney before this time, to make sure your lawsuit is accurately and successfully filed in a timely manner.
Contact Information and Other Resources
To file a claim with the EEOC, Idaho’s claimants will contact the EEOC office listed below. More information about filing a claim with the EEOC can be found at the EEOC’s How To File a Claim Page .
EEOC — Seattle District Office
Federal Office Building
909 First Avenue, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104-1061
If you would like a brief history of the important discrimination laws that protect you, find more information in our blog post “Know Your Rights: Overview of Disability Employment Rights”.