Ask a Discrimination Attorney: What Constitutes Workplace Discrimination?

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Workplace discrimination can take many different forms. It can be based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or any other protected characteristic under federal or state law. Discrimination in the workplace can also take more subtle forms, such as sexual harassment or a hostile work environment. If you believe that you have been the victim of workplace discrimination, it is crucial to speak with an experienced employment discrimination attorney to discuss your options.

Ask a Discrimination Attorney

Ask a Discrimination Attorney: What Constitutes Workplace Discrimination?

Race Discrimination

Race discrimination in the workplace is governed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This includes things like hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment. Race discrimination can also take the form of harassment or a hostile work environment.

Color Discrimination

Title VII also prohibits color discrimination in the workplace. Color discrimination is similar to race discrimination in that it involves treating someone differently because of their skin color. Color discrimination can also take the form of segregated facilities (such as bathrooms or swimming pools), segregated housing at work accommodations, or unequal pay for those who are doing the same job.

Religious Discrimination

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits religious discrimination in the workplace. Religious discrimination includes treating someone differently because of their religious beliefs or practices. Some examples of religious discrimination include refusing to hire someone because of their religious beliefs, requiring employees to participate in religious activities that they do not agree with, or making derogatory comments about someone’s religion.

Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination in the workplace is also governed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sex discrimination includes treating employees differently because of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This can include things like hiring and firing decisions, unequal pay for equal work, or denying employees promotions or other benefits because of their sex. Sexual harassment is also a form of sex discrimination.

Age Discrimination

The 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are 40 years old or older. Age discrimination includes things like refusing to hire someone because of their age, paying them less than younger employees who are doing the same job, or forcing them to retire before they are ready.

National Origin Discrimination

Title VII also prohibits national origin discrimination in the workplace. National origin discrimination includes treating employees differently because they were born in another country or have ancestry from another country. This can include things like hiring and firing decisions being made based on national origin rather than qualifications, unequal pay for those who are doing the same job but have different national origins, or segregated housing at work accommodations.

Disability Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits workplace discrimination against employees with disabilities. This type of discrimination can include refusing to hire someone because they have a disability, terminating someone because they have a disability, or failing to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability.

Genetic Information

Genetic discrimination can take many forms, from employers requiring employees to take genetic tests to insurance companies using genetic information to determine rates. Genetic discrimination can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to get a job or access quality healthcare. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect individuals from this type of discrimination.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits employers from using genetic information to make employment decisions. It also prohibits insurance companies from using genetic information to set premiums or deny coverage.

Unfair Use of Genetic Information

There are still some ways that genetic discrimination can occur. For example, an employer could require employees to take a genetic test as part of a wellness program. While this may not be used for employment decisions, it could still lead to denial of employment benefits or forced retirement. Discrimination and retaliation lawyers in Kansas City will be able to advise you if you’ve participated in any type of genetic testing.

Harassment

Harassment can include everything from making offensive comments to sustained patterns of abusive behavior. It can be based on any characteristic that is protected under anti-discrimination laws, such as race, religion, gender, or disability. The Americans with Disability Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 all protect employees from being harassed at work.

Workplace discrimination can take many different forms, but the common thread is that it involves treating employees or applicants unfairly because of a protected characteristic. Federal and state laws prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, and sexual orientation. An experienced discrimination attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid claim and will fight for your rights.

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