I am a teacher in SC and I was fired. I am filing discrimination (African American) , age) and threatening/stalking/harassment . What are the laws/statues I should site to file my civil claim?
State/Country relating to question: South Carolina
a civil lawyer
South Carolina is an employment-at-will state. That means that any employer can take anadverse action, including termination, against an employee at any time for anyreason that is not against the law or discriminatory.
An adverse employment decision that is against the law wouldbe, for example, terminating an employee in retaliation because the employeefiled an OSHA complaint.
A discriminatory reason would be one based on race, color,religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy orage. Here is an Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission publication explaining illegal discrimination: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html.
There are exceptions to employment-at will. Those are:
1. An employment contract. In South Carolina, an employment contractdoes not necessarily have to be in writing. It may be implied by the actions of the employer, or what the employersays.
2. An employment manual that states employment isnot at will, or that certain procedures must be followed to terminate anemployee.
3. A union agreement.
4. In South Carolina, there is a good-faithexception as well, which means that in the termination must not be made in badfaith or maliciously. A bad faith ormalicious reason for termination would be, for example, making up allegationsthat an employee stole money in order to terminate the employee.
5. There may be additional exceptions that apply topublic employees, such as police officers and employees of government agencies.
A "hostile work environment" is related to the issue ofdiscrimination and retaliation. A"hostile work environment" arises when an employee is harassed in the workplacebecause they are in a protected class, or in retaliation for filing acomplaint. A prime example of a hostilework environment is in the movie NorthCountry, where a woman working in a mine was subjected to sexual taunts andassaults because she was a woman. (A"hostile work environment" does not happen just because a workplace is awful towork in, or an employer is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious - the badtreatment has to happen because of discrimination or retaliation.)
If the adverse employment action was discriminatory, here isa link to the EEOC website for more information: http://www.eeoc.gov/explaining discrimination;; and the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission ishere: http://www.state.sc.us/schac/ EEOC complaints must be filed within 180 daysof the discrimination.
If the adverse employment action might have beenretaliatory, contact the agency where the Complaint was filed and ask forassistance.
If the adverse employment action was wrongful but notdiscriminatory, a government agency cannot help, but an attorney may be able tohelp. http://www.findlaw.com/is a good resource. If the adverseemployment action violated a Union agreement, you need to work with your Unionrepresentative first.
15 Years Litigation Experience
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