Employees in Indiana are protected against workplace discrimination by the operation of federal laws like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state laws. These regulations protect against overt discrimination, and people also have the right to protection against disparate impact discrimination. Disparate impact discrimination is not present in a strict reading of the text of Title VII, but the courts have found it there, allowing for findings of discrimination even without intent.
In a disparate impact discrimination case, the employee will generally demonstrate that a particular action or policy of the company has a discriminatory result, and then the burden of proof shifts to the employer to show that the practice is consistent with business necessity and related to the position in question. This process was made clear with the updates to Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
Lawsuits based on this theory of discrimination might arise from skills testing before employment, other required testing, layoffs or other job-related activities that impact a large portion of the employee pool. Each claim of disparate impact workplace discrimination is viewed on a case-by-case basis. Discrimination claims based on age may be more complex because people over 40 are not protected by the same laws that prevent discrimination based on race, gender, sex, religious affiliation, national origin and other attributes.
People in Indiana who believe they have been unfairly discriminated against at work might want to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. A lawyer who practices employment law may be able to help by examining the facts of the case and developing a theory for presentation to the court. A lawyer might build a workplace discrimination case for trial by interviewing witnesses, conducting depositions or gathering documentary evidence. In some cases, it may be possible to secure a settlement from at-fault parties without going to court.