Workplace discrimination can take many forms. Discrimination occurs when someone, be it an employer or employee, treats you differently and less favorably. If that person treats you unfairly and you belong to a group of protected classes, it is workplace discrimination. Our accompanying video provides a brief description of workplace discrimination and its various forms.

Age Discrimination 

Older persons are a protected class. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) provides protection for employees aged 40 and above to provide protection for employees who may be older and are fearful of being replaced by younger workers. Here are some possible examples:

  • Employer refuses to hire you because they are specifically looking to hire young employees, whether it be for brand image purposes or other arbitrary reasons.
  • Older employees are laid off or fired, but young employees are still retained even though they have less on-the-job experience, seniority, or competency.
  • The management refers to older employees in derogatory ways such as “over the hill” or “old” or any other age-related discriminatory terms, and either subsequently terminates them or denies them promotions based on age.

Race, Color, Sex

Racial discrimination occurs when employers treat employees prejudicially purely on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Sex discrimination occurs when employers prejudicially treat employees purely on their sex, gender, or gender identity. Common examples include:

  • African-Americans and Hispanic Americans being discriminated against because of the color of their skin. 
  • Asians can be discriminated against because of their facial features and people either short or tall can also face discrimination in the workplace. 
  • Sex discrimination in the workplace happens when men or women are treated differently based on their biological sex, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. Sex discrimination has many forms and often occurs when unsolicited comments, gestures, or physical contacts of a sexual nature are directed at the employee. This includes both physical and verbal harassment.
  • Discrimination against women may also occur when nursing mothers are denied accommodation or breaks to breastfeed.

Religion

Belonging to a particular religious organization or believing in any type of religion is a protected act. Neither employers nor employees may discriminate based on someone’s religion. Some examples include:

  • Denying Muslims the right to take periodic prayer breaks. Similarly, denying Muslims the right to wear preferred headwear, such as burqas, hijabs, niqabs, or chadors.
  • Failing to allow an employee time off for a certain religious holiday or forcing employees to ignore certain religious customs, such as fasting during Ramadan or preventing observant Jews from taking time off for the Jewish High Holidays.

The above are just a few of the many forms of discrimination that can occur in the workplace. If you feel that your rights have been harmed and wish to take action, then give Uplift Law a chance to help fight for you.

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