Discrimination happens when you are denied an opportunity or equal treatment because of your race, gender, disability, nationality, age, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy and maternity or religion. These are the ‘protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010. It can happen in many ways large or small in everyday life, but in some situations it’s actually against the law – and you can do something about it.
If you feel you have been discriminated against, it can be a confusing and upsetting experience. You may want to stand up for yourself, but be unsure about what laws are behind you and how to start taking action.
The first step is to find lawyer that handles discrimination cases. They will discuss the details of what has happened and talk about your chances of success in bringing a discrimination case against a public or private body.
When searching for a discrimination lawyer, there are some key things you should know. Here’s our guide to what to look for in a discrimination lawyer…
Why You Need A Discrimination Lawyer…
Let’s look at discrimination in the workplace. You may have suffered lost earnings or potential earnings as a result of discrimination in the workplace. You may have experienced anxiety, stress, depression or mental health issues because of the unfair treatment. You might want to take a stand against discrimination to let others know that they don’t have to put up with it, and to let employers know that they will be taken to task if they allow discrimination to happen. Whatever your motivation, when you decide to take action, you need the right specialist on your side. Employment law is complex, but specialist lawyers deal with a variety of discrimination cases all the time and will know the right approach for your case.
What To Look For In A Discrimination Lawyer…
You should feel comfortable with your lawyer, especially as you may be discussing sensitive or personal issues. You should feel you can trust them and that they have the right experience and attributes to go out and fight your case. They will be able to tell you your chances of success in a tribunal and your expected compensation. Make sure to interview at least three discrimination lawyers to find one that fits your approach and style. A large established firm will charge more but will have a large amount of experience and expertise. However you could get just as good value and service from a smaller, local firm.
Word of mouth recommendations are the best way to narrow down the list. You can also consider reviews on Google and social media, location and local reputation. Questions to ask include:
- How much will it cost?
Make sure you have a good understanding of their fee structure to avoid any nasty surprises.
- How much experience do they have?
Discrimination law is complex and you may feel more comfortable with a law firm that specialises in discrimination or employment law, with a good track record of success for their clients.
- Do they have the resources and tenacity to fight your case in court?
Tribunals are not the nicest of experiences, especially if you’re going up against a large employer. You’ll want to know you have a solicitor on your side that isn’t afraid to take on the ‘big boys’.
- How long will it take?
This can be hard to determine, but based on the complexities of your case, they should be able to give you a rough estimate.
Nobody should have to experience discrimination. Unfortunately, it does happen, but you don’t have to take it lying down. If you feel you have been discriminated against in the workplace or want some expert advice on your options, speak to our friendly specialist team.