7 Things to Know About Workplace Discrmination

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Labor and employment laws prohibit workplace discrimination and unfair or discriminatory treatment of an employee based on gender, age, parental status, disability, race, religion, or national origin. Workplace discrimination in any aspects of employment is forbidden. This includes hiring, training, job assignments, pay, fringe benefits, layoffs, and firing. If you experienced workplace discrimination, please contact our workplace discrimination lawyer, Brad Nakase, for a free consultation.

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Color, Race, and National Origin Discrimination

Discrimination against these aspects is prohibited under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An employer is violating the laws if they:

  • Discriminate against anyone because of race, color, or origin. This includes firing, refusing to hire, or less favourable compensation, privileges or terms and conditions because of their race, origin, or color.
  • Classify, segregate, or limit employees or applicants based on color, race, or origin in any way that would limit their opportunities or status as an employee.
  • Publish job ads or notices that show a preference for certain races or ethnicities.

If the company receives financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services, they may not use origin, race, or color as a reason to:

  • Use administration methods that would discriminate
  • Select a location that would exclude or hamper their ability to receive benefits
  • Deny any benefits or services that other employees receive
  • Deny opportunities to join an advisory board

Please contact our workplace discrimination attorney to protect your rights.

Sex or Gender Discrimination

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 protects employees from discrimination based on their gender or sex. In particular, the law mentions discrimination in pay rate. Employers are prohibited from paying employees with the same skills and experience and performing the same work different wages based on gender or sex. Equal pay is just the beginning; other sex or gender discriminations are:

  • Hiring – not hiring an applicant based on their gender rather than their skills or experience.

  • Firing – deciding to let go of an employee over another based on sex or gender.

  • Promotion – an employee is passed over for a promotion in favour of a less suitable candidate of a different gender.

  • Benefits – allowing some employees to use long-term disability plans and not others, on the basis of gender or gender-related conditions such as pregnancy.

  • Job classification – not giving a title that would usually go along with the role based on gender. This is also related to wage inequality as job titles and wages are often linked.

  • Training opportunities – denying employees training opportunities, or only sending people of one gender to training sessions.

Please contact our workplace discrimination lawyer to learn more about your rights.

Age Discrimination

The 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects all employees older than 40 from being discriminated against. The Act prohibits employers from:

  • Failing to hire an employee because of their age
  • Based on age, offering different terms, conditions, or compensation to an employee
  • Classifying, segregating, or limiting an employee because of their age in a way that would adversely affect their opportunities

It is also illegal for employment agencies to refuse to refer a candidate for employment based on their age.

Disability Discrimination

Workplace discrimination is protected by I and V of the 1990 American with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. Under these laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. Discrimination includes:

  • Refusing to discuss reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disability

  • Denying benefits, services, or aid that other employees can access

  • Providing different benefits, serves, or aid (unless it is necessary for the disability)

  • Eligibility criteria for hiring or promotion that would screen out people with disabilities

  • Administering activities, services, and programs that are difficult or do not meet the needs of people with disabilities who are qualified

  • Denying the opportunity for planning or advisory board membership

Religious Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, prohibits discrimination based on a person’s religious beliefs and affiliations in any aspect of employment. Religious beliefs is defined in the law as moral or ethical beliefs that are held in the strength of traditional religious views. Employers are expected to accommodate an employee’s religious practices unless they would cause unnecessary hardship on the business. The Act protects employees from any discrimination and a hostile work environment caused by insults, slurs, intimidation, and abusive ridicule.

Discrimination based on the following things are prohibited under the Act:

  • Affiliation with a religious group
  • Cultural or physical traits including dress, language, or accent
  • The perception that an employee is of a particular religious group
  • Association with someone of a religious group

Employer Retaliation

State and federal labor laws protect employees from employer retaliation is they complain or file a lawsuit about workplace discrimination. Employers may not harass, change benefits, change job assignments, forced unpaid leave, refuse to promote, demote, or fire employees in retaliation. If you have filed a discrimination lawsuit or complaint and are experiencing retaliation, you are eligible for additional damages.

Money Damages 

Under Federal Law (Title VII) employees who experienced workplace discrimination may be entitled to the following:

  • Promotion or job reinstatement
  • Financial damages
  • Recovery of wages and other job-related losses
  • Injunctive relief (company must amend their policies)
  • Payment of legal fees

An employee must file a formal complaint with the EEOC before they file a lawsuit. The EEOC will investigate the claim and try to resolve the issue. If they are unable to resolve the issue, the EEOC may launch a civil lawsuit on behalf of the employee or give the employee a “right to sue” letter to allow them to file a lawsuit themselves.

Act right away because charges must be filed within 300 days of the discrimination. Contact our employment lawyers to discuss any workplace discrimination. In our free consultation, we will tell you if you have a case and advise you on next steps.

Brad Nakase, Attorney

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