To prevent and respond to employee’s discrimination based on protected class status an employer should have a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination. Employers should understand the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion and national origin. Among the other federal laws that prohibit discrimination are the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (genetic information) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age). State laws generally prohibit employment discrimination against the same classes protected by federal law. However, some state laws go further and consider gender identity/sexual orientation, unemployment status, and marital status to be protected classes.
Trends: There is a great deal of movement on the federal and state level to expand the protected classes under equal employment opportunity laws. Those protected under discrimination laws have moved on well beyond the traditional protected classes of race, sex, age, and disability to include genetic information, military status, transgender status, individuals with caregiving responsibilities and even unemployment status. As a result, employers can surely anticipate a greater number of lawsuits. Further, employers should know that there is also a trend toward class actions and allegations of widespread bias and discrimination by multiple plaintiffs. Employers need to know how to prevent and effectively respond to such claims.
It’s illegal to discriminate an individual in the workplace due to any of the reasons above, they shouldn’t be used a factor of qualifying individuals when it comes to hiring and firing. All employers must provide equal opportunities for different individuals no matter what their situation is as long as they can perform that task given to them.
Discrimination And Harassment
Harassment is considered a form of discrimination, and for discrimination, we can say that there are many types of harassments under it. This includes any unwelcomed behavior by your employer, colleagues, client, manager or anyone at the workplace which is based on sex, religion, color, race, pregnancy, disability, age or any form of discrimination. Discrimination of this type along with unwelcome verbal, visual or physical conduct, should be put in check immediately.
Examples Of Employment Discrimination
- Specifying conditions in a job advert that constitute elements of discrimination, like requesting only a specific color type or religion.
- Removing some applicants during recruitment without any legal reason for doing so.
- Not paying some employees what they deserve because of the race or gender.
- Paying employees with the same task different salaries, as long as employees perform the same work and have the skills they must be compensated equally.
- Discriminating employees when giving them leave due to disability, maternity care or retirement benefits.
- Denying employees from using company facilities.
- Discrimination during promotions or when giving out bonuses.
Let’s Look At The Types Of Discrimination;
Age discrimination is a complex issue which impacts many areas of government policy and has many implications and negative outcomes for individuals themselves. Age discrimination can affect young and old; it affects a person’s chance of securing a job, potentially affects a person’s chance of promotion and who is selected when downsizing and arranging transfers.
Age discrimination is one of the common forms of discrimination that employees are facing in the workplace, the moment you pass the age of 40 it’s going to be difficult for you to get a job. Age discrimination is illegal, and all companies are not allowed to mention age preference in their job advert.
Religious discrimination is treating a person or group differently because of the beliefs they hold about a religion. This includes when a supporter of different religions, denominations or non-religions are treated unequally due to these beliefs, either before the law or in institutional settings, such as employment or housing.
Even in societies where freedom of religion is a constitutional right, adherents of religious minorities sometimes voice concerns about religious discrimination against them. Insofar as legal policies are concerned, cases that are perceived as religious discrimination might be the result of an interference of the religious sphere with other spheres of the public that are regulated by law and not aimed specifically against a religious minority.
This is also another serious issue we’re facing in the country, some employers and companies pay men better than women even though they have the same working skills and experience. Discrimination based on gender is also prohibited; both men and women must be paid equally as long as they perform the same task. Mostly women are the victims of gender discrimination. If you’re not paid like other employees and you believe you perform equal work with them, you need to speak to your employer and claim your rights.
Most women at some point will get pregnant and the moment an employer notice your pregnancy he starts to show you some elements of discrimination which is totally illegal. Your employer cannot force you to leave due to your pregnancy and can’t deny you any employment benefits. Pregnancy for women has to be handled just like any other form of temporary sickness that requires medical attention. Pregnant women are protected under the PDA Act (Pregnancy Discrimination Act) which was passed since 1978. It’s important for all employers to be aware of this act and respect the right of pregnant women in the workplace.
Hostile Working Environment
This happens when employers or companies make the working environment very difficult to cope with and some employers do this intentionally. In the case of disabled employees, they have to be provided with enough facilities that will allow them to work conveniently. Forcing employees to work in a hostile working environment is prohibited and is considered a form of discrimination in the workplace.
As an employee, you have the right to report any discrimination in the workplace and the employer doesn’t have the right to retaliate against you for doing so. As an employee, if you notice any form of discrimination you should talk to the employer first to see if he can take care of the problem, and if the employer does not take action to correct the discrimination or harassment then you have the right to take legal action against your company or employer.
If you are in doubt of whether you are one of the many employees in the workforce that are being discriminated against, give us a call now at Massey & Duffy for a free consultation, we are available to help in any form of discrimination that you may be facing in the workplace.