It may have happened to you. You may be a victim. You were treated unfairly or unjustly at work and you believe it was because of your race, color, religion, national origin or sex. You believe that you were a victim of discrimination in the workplace.
Discrimination is defined as, “Treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.” Based on this definition of discrimination, workplace discrimination would then be preferential treatment or consideration, whether in a positive or negative way in the workplace, which is because of a person’s group, class or category rather than on their individual merit.
Discrimination in the workplace has been a practice of many businesses for a long time in the United States. Over the last century, many companies have been accused of discrimination in the workplace. The government has tried to fight these workplace discriminatory practices by enacting laws and establishing federal and state agencies to guard against discrimination and to protect employees’ rights.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is probably the most significant piece of legislation that has been enacted to protect human rights and to fight discrimination. Title VII of this act prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established in 1965 to enforce the laws against discrimination in the workplace and also oversee and coordinate all Federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices and policies.
There are many different ways in which you can face discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination in the workplace is illegal in any aspect of employment. Some of the things this includes are:
- Hiring and firing
- Use of company facilities
- Job advertisements
- Assignment, classification or compensation of employees
- Training and apprenticeship programs
- Promotion, recall, layoff or transfer
- Retirement plans, disability leave and pay
- Fringe benefits
- Other conditions and terms of employment.
There are also some other discriminatory measures that are illegal in the workplace. Some of these are:
- Decisions regarding employment that are based on assumptions or stereotypes about the traits, performance or abilities of individuals of a certain age, ethnic group, race, religion or sex, or individuals with disabilities
- Harassment that is based on sex, color, race, national origin, age, disability or religion (link to page Harassment In The Workplace)
- Employment opportunities that are denied to a person because of association with, or marriage to, an individual of a particular national origin, religion, race, or an individual with a disability. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act also prohibits discrimination because of participation in places of worship or schools that are associated with a particular ethnic, religious or racial group.
- Retaliation against an individual for opposing discriminatory practices, filing a charge of discrimination or participating in an investigation.
Just as there are many different ways in which you can face discrimination in the workplace, so also, there are many different types of discrimination. Among these are:
- Age – It is unlawful to discriminate against you because of your age with respect to any privilege, term or condition of employment. This includes hiring, firing, compensation, benefits, job assignments, training, layoff and promotion.
- Pregnancy discrimination – Discrimination that is based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions is unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Retaliation – Your employer is not allowed to fire, demote, harass or otherwise “retaliate” against you for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination hearing or otherwise opposing discrimination.
- National origin – This is discrimination because you come from a particular place, because of your ethnicity or accent or because it is believed that you have a particular ethnic background. This also applies to someone who is married to or who associates with someone of a particular nationality.
- Disability – Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you if you have disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, compensation, job training, advancement and other conditions, terms and privileges of employment.
- Race – You cannot be discriminated against because of your racial group, race-linked characteristics or marriage to or association with an individual of a particular race.
- Equal pay and compensation – This requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment.
- Sex-based - It is unlawful to discriminate against you for employment because of your sex in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. This also includes sexual harassment.
- Religious - Employers may not treat you more or less favorably because of your religious beliefs or practices - except to the extent a religious accommodation is warranted.
Your employer should have instituted and set in place policies, procedures, rules and regulations that prohibit discrimination of any type or that is practiced in any way. It is also a requirement that employers must post notices to all employees that advises them of their rights under the laws EEOC enforces and their right to be free from retaliation. These notices must be accessible, as needed, to people with visual or other disabilities that affect reading.
As mentioned at the beginning, you may have had a personal experience with discrimination in the workplace. You may be a victim of workplace discrimination.
What do you do now? Who do you look to? Where can you go to find help?
You probably need the help and representation of a legal professional. But, how do you go about choosing the right lawyer for discrimination in the workplace?
Family lawyers and those who have a general law practice are great, but are they the right ones for you as you deal with discrimination in the workplace? You need an attorney who knows and specializes in employment law. You need an attorney who deals with discrimination in the workplace every day. You need an employment attorney.
Employmentattorneyhome.com is then place where you will find a skilled employment attorney. Employmentattorneyhome.com is the place where you will find a good employment attorney who can help you fight the discrimination you have suffered at your workplace.
Do not put this off. Do not wait. You need help now. This may affect you and your employment for the rest of your life. Contact the reliable employment attorney at attorneyhome.com, today.