Chicago Race and Sex Discrimination Attorney

Race and Sex Discrimination Generally

Most discrimination claims are due to race or sex discrimination. The first anti-discrimination laws passed in this country were directed at race discrimination, including both employment and housing discrimination (see Housing Discrimination for more information). Since employment is a form of a contract, race and discrimination attorneys use 42 U.S.C. 1981, which prohibits race discrimination in contracts, to pursue race discrimination and wrongful termination cases.

Sexual harassment laws grew out of Title VII, allowing race and sex discrimination claims to be handled in a very similar manner, using either the direct or indirect method of proof (see the Discrimination page).

In the context of employment discrimination, race and sex discrimination can come in many forms, including the denial of overtime work or bonuses, wrongful termination, poor evaluations, unfair discipline, as well as harassment. The essential component to any type of employment discrimination claim is that the reason for the discrimination was because of the victim’s particular race or sex.

Tangible Action – Losing Money

In most discrimination cases there must be some tangible job detriment or injury. This means that the employee must show a loss of money. Examples of this include wrongful termination, denial of overtime, or the denial of bonuses.

Unfair discipline cases are much more difficult to prove because there is often not a financial component to this form of discrimination until there is a termination, demotion or failure to promote.. When there is no financial injury to an individual, discrimination race and sex discriminations cases can be hard to resolve successfully. For example, if a woman receives more write-ups than a man, this type of discrimination case can be difficult because there are no financial damages. Unfair discipline become more tangible when an individual experiences a financial injury as a result of the unfair discipline.. Often times this will take several write-ups or similar disciplinary actions, but it does not mean that an individual should not take their case to a discrimination attorney. A race and sex discrimination attorney may be able to help prevent a suspension or wrongful termination from occurring, especially if handled in a timely manner. Employment attorneys will always seek to negotiate a resolution first, if possible.

Statutes of Limitation

Title VII requires that an employee file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC within 180 days of the act of discrimination. In states that have their own anti-discrimination laws, such as Illinois, then an individual must file their charge with the EEOC within 300 days, and must file their charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights in Chicago or Springfield within 180 days of the act of discrimination. After the EEOC completes its investigation (or the IDHR) the employee must file a lawsuit in Federal Court (or state court) within 90 days. (see EEOC and IDHR for more information).

Since sex discrimination claims must use Title VII (or the state law), there is a very short statute of limitations. The act of discrimination could be the wrongful termination itself, or act that lead up to the termination. If a pattern of discrimination results in a wrongful termination, some of the acts that occurred more than 180 or 300 days before could be included.

Race discrimination claims can be brought under Title VII, as well as under Section 1981, which has a four-year statute of limitations.

Both race and sex discrimination claims can be brought under Section 1983 if the claim is against a government employer. There are many differences between these federal laws when it comes to sex discrimination, race discrimination, and wrongful termination. It is critical to review your case with a race and sex discrimination attorney that specializes handling cases in your particular state.


There is always a concern that complaining or pursuing an employment discrimination claim will result in retaliation (see our Retaliation page for more information), including wrongful termination.

There are many ways to pursue an employment discrimination claim making it important that you consult with an employment attorney. As your Chicago Race and Sex Discrimination Attorneys, we will use these laws to assist our clients. Call Maduff & Maduff for a confidential consultation.

As your Chicago overtime attorney we represent clients in a variety of areas including Discrimination AttorneyCivil Rights Attorney and Sexual Harassment Attorney.