Labor Practices

Practice Areas

Employment Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Indiana State law make it illegal for an employer to make any employment decision based on Race, Gender, Age, Pregnancy, Color, National Origin, unless it's a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification - such as not hiring a male to work as a Women's Locker Room Attendant. Employment decisions such as: hiring, discipline and discharge, promotion, and training opportunities made on the basis of race, sex, age, etc. are illegal.

Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability in hiring, advancement, compensation, training, or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment because of an individual's disability, or perceived disability. The ADA also requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to the disabled individual to help them perform their essential job functions.

Age Discrimination

The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of age. There are some special limitations on who can sue; persons outside the age of 40 and 70 are not protected by the ADEA. Employment decisions such as: hiring, promotion, training opportunities and termination made on the basis of age, are illegal.

Sexual Harassment

There are two types of sexual harassment: "quid pro quo" and "hostile work environment", where you find one, you usually find the other. Quid Pro Quo means this for that – for example "if you sleep with me you'll get that promotion and big raise". Hostile Work Environment is where a co-worker or supervisor makes one feel uncomfortable because of sex; it could be based on certain conduct like offensive jokes, displaying explicit photographs or screen saver, unwanted touching, leering, or repeated requests for dates or sexual favors. Members of the same and opposite sex can legally harass each other.

Wrongful Termination

While the majority of Indiana's workplace is considered to be "AT WILL" which means the employer can fire someone without notice, and without cause, and similarly, you can quit your employment at anytime, but should an employer fire someone because of their Race, Sex, Age, Disability or some other illegal reason, then it maybe a 'wrongful termination'. Different situations may constitute a wrongful termination. For example, an employer fires someone because he refuses to commit an illegal act or unsafe act; filing a Workers' Compensation claim or is "blowing the whistle".


If you have been fired, demoted, transferred, had your job responsibilities taken away, work location changed, etc., or had an 'adverse employment' action taken against you, this is retaliation and is illegal. Some of these protect activities can include:

• Complaining to your employer about discrimination or harassment at work;
• Filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or Indiana Civil Rights Commission;
• Filing a Workers' Compensation claim;
• Whistleblowing.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The FMLA allows qualified workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work for a serious health condition, pregnancy or adoption; or to care for a child, spouse, parent, or grand-parent with a serious health condition. The time off does not have to be taken consecutively, but can be taken off in hours, days or weeks. You are entitled to the same or equivalent job you had when you return from FMLA leave. FMLA leave cannot be used by the employer for attendance control purposes. Should your employer deny the leave, or otherwise discriminates or discharges someone because they took FMLA leave is a violation of federal law.

Breach of Duty of Fair Representation by a Labor Union

The Duty of Fair Representation requires a labor union to represent its members fairly, in good faith, and without discrimination. The duty applies to virtually every action that a union might take in dealing with an employer as the representative of employees, from negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement, to its handling grievances, as well as its operation of an exclusive hiring hall and its enforcement of the union security provisions of a labor agreement. The Union may refuse to file or process a grievance for any number of reasons so long as they are valid; it may not arbitrarily refuse to process a meritorious grievance or decline to proceed to arbitration because of hostility to the grievant or irrelevant and undesirable considerations. While no employee has a right to have his grievance processed or taken to arbitration if the Union determines, in its discretion, that it lacks merit, still the union may not refuse to process or go to arbitration on a meritorious claim simply because the grievant is widely disliked. The right to speak for all employees in the bargaining unit carries with it the corresponding duty to protect them as well. A court, can order an employer to reinstate or pay back pay to an employee if it finds that the employer violated the collective bargaining agreement and may, in some instances, order the union to pay attorneys' fees to a successful plaintiff.

Equal Pay

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex by paying lower wages to employees than an employee of the opposite sex for the same work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility performed under the same working conditions. Employers can pay different wage rates to members of the opposite sex if wages are based on a (i) seniority system; (ii) merit system; (iii) quantity/quality production standards; (iv) any other factor than sex.

Call us at (317) 759-7464 today for a free confidential telephone consultation. If you prefer, send me an e-mail at and I'll be in touch with you shortly. Thank you for considering the Indiana employment law firm of PANICO LAW LLC.