Discrimination in the workplace is a violation of state and federal law. When it happens, the direct victim is not the only party who suffers. When employment discrimination is an accepted part of a company’s culture, employees become complacent and even afraid to take action when they face unfair treatment.
When employment discrimination occurs, it is a violation of the victim’s rights. Sometimes, it is an overt rights violation, such as denying a new parent the right to take unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. In other cases, it is less clear-cut. To determine if discrimination occurred, the victim must determine if another employee at the company would have been treated the same way under the same circumstances.
Employment discrimination comes in many forms. Examples of these include:
The primary federal law that prohibits employment discrimination is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law guarantees employees the right to fair treatment regardless of their race, sex, religion, national origin, color, age if they are over 40, genetic information, and disability status. Since that law was enacted, other federal laws have been passed to strengthen the original law, adding new protected classes, new rights for employees, and new guidelines for defining acts of discrimination. These laws include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Many states have additional employment discrimination laws in place. These laws provide additional protections for employees. Ohio’s anti-discrimination law lists military status and ancestry as protected classes, which are not included in the federal law.
When an individual suffers financial damages because of the employment discrimination he or she faced, such as the cost of obtaining mental healthcare to deal with the emotional trauma of the discrimination or the compensation and benefits he or she lost due to a wrongful termination, that individual can file a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to seek compensation for these damages. Compensation could come through a settlement with the company or through a favorable ruling after filing a discrimination lawsuit.
Discrimination in the workplace can cause you to suffer severe financial damages. When you are in this position, you have the right to pursue compensation for these damages with an experienced employment lawyer. To learn more, contact our team at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office.
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