Discrimination at Work

To learn more about some of the types of discrimination that happen in the workplace please continue reading below.

Race – Racial discrimination in the workplace is illegal.  Despite this, we still see employers harassing, retaliating against, and creating hostile work environments for some employees based on their race.  This is unacceptable.  Employers’ racially biased decisions can be reflected in the hiring or promotion process, pay practices, discipline and even terminations.  If you think you are being discriminated against because of your race, the law spells out some stringent time-frames for getting your case filed, so be sure to act quickly.

Age – Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on their age.  If a person is forty years old or older and is subject to any of the following, he or she may be dealing with age discrimination:

  • Biased comments such as name calling like “grandma” or old age jokes specifically directed at the older employee;
  • Better treatment of younger employees of the same job description;
  • More lenient discipline of younger employees for similar conduct;
  • The employer only hires younger people;
  • Harassment consistently aimed at older employees; and
  • Never getting promoted in favor of younger employees with less qualifications.

Religion – The law makes it clear that employers cannot discriminate against an employee based on the employee’s religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs.  The laws are specific in detailing the types of discriminatory actions that are unacceptable, including: refusal to hire; unfair treatment in the workplace; harassment; withholding promotions an employee is otherwise qualified for; termination; and asking for and/or documenting an employee’s religion.

Pregnancy – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits employers from making any adverse decision about a women’s employment based on her pregnancy, childbirth, or any medical condition related to those things. If a woman is temporarily unable to do her job, the employer must treat her the same way they would treat any disabled employee by providing reasonable accommodations such as light duty, medical leave, or maybe a different assignment.

Sex or Gender – The law also prohibits employers from making employment related decisions based on one’s gender. That means that if they have prevented an employee from getting a raise, a promotion, participating in certain activities, or just treated an employee differently because of their gender, they may be in violation of this legislation.

National Origin or Ethnicity – This type of discrimination is based on a person’s country or place of origin or that of their ancestors. It’s not the same as racial discrimination or discrimination due to someone’s skin color, although these are also protected classes under Title VII. Supervisors, coworkers or others involved with the employer may not allow treatment of an employee that has a negative impact, because of the country or place they, or their ancestors, have come from.

Disability – The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) became law in 1990. It protects employees who have a physical or mental impairment that significantly affects daily life activities from being discriminated against in the workplace. It also protects employees who have a significant relationship with some who is disabled from discrimination as well. There are also provisions that if a reasonable accommodation can be made that will allow an applicant or employee to successfully perform his or her job duties, then the employer is required to provide that accommodation. Most states have laws that provide similar protections to employees with disabilities.

Genetic Information – The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits the use of genetic information in employment.  The law prohibits employers from using individuals’ genetic information, including a genetic predisposition to developing a disease in the future, when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decisions.

If you or someone you know has suffered discrimination in the workplace, call us today at 419-243-9005.

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