State and federal laws protect individuals from employment discrimination on the basis of protected classes. This applies to both private and governmental employers.
The federal employment statutes that pertain to employment discrimination (by both public and private employers) based on the protected classes of sex, race, religion, physical disability, national origin, or age include:
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
• The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
• The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
• The Equal Pay Act (EPA)
• The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
• The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
• Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act
• Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act
• New Mexico Human Rights Act
Every employment discrimination claim requires you or your employment lawyer to prove two distinct issues: (1) whether the defendant employer discriminated against you in violation of the appropriate state or federal law; and (2) what kinds of relief you’re entitled to in order to redress the violation, such as reinstatement, promotion, back pay, front pay, preliminary injunctions, and attorney’s fees.
In addition to the protected categories under the federal laws, New Mexico state laws prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status (“spousal affiliation”), and age. The processes for a State law claims are very different than those for employment discrimination claims under Federal law. It is important to determine under which set or combination of laws apply to your case as you proceed. Just as the processes differ significantly, so too do the remedies.
Employment discrimination claims can be quite complex. In addition, there are many deadlines that can run pretty quickly. As such, it is important to consult with an employment law attorney early to determine your rights and possible remedies.