Facing discrimination in your place of employment is extremely difficult. You may dread going into work every day, and yet, you need to continue working to support yourself and your family. It is important to understand that you have legal rights. State law and federal law both prohibit employment discrimination. When employers violate these laws, you can take action. Our discrimination lawyers in Chillicothe are here to help.
The law outlines certain protected classes that have the right to be free from workplace discrimination. Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on:
This means that employers cannot consider these characteristics when they are making decisions about a person’s employment. These decisions include hiring or firing, promotions, demotions, layoffs, training, or any other decisions regarding the material terms and conditions of employment.
Under state and federal law, certain types of harassment may be a form of employment discrimination. Generally speaking, if an employer harasses an employee based on a protected characteristic, they are breaking the law. However, courts will consider a number of factors when determining if unlawful harassment took place. One instance of harassment is typically not enough to hold the employer accountable.
Unlawful harassment is behavior that is so severe or pervasive it interferes with an employee’s ability to perform his or her job by creating a hostile work environment. Harassment can take many forms including physical acts, offensive slurs or jokes, threats, offensive objects or pictures, intimidation, and allowing this type of behavior to occur in the workplace even if it is not personally directed towards you.
Not all harassment and discrimination are as obvious as being physically attacked or regularly hearing racial or sexual slurs. There is another form of discrimination, known as disparate impact discrimination, that is far more subtle.
Disparate impact discrimination occurs when an employer has policies and practices that appear to be neutral and unbiased but have a disproportionately negative effect on a certain group of employees with protected characteristics. For example, an employer may have a height and weight requirement for a particular job. If women routinely cannot meet this requirement, it may be a form of disparate impact discrimination.
To prove disparate impact discrimination, an employee must first show that the employer has a facially neutral practice or policy that has the effect of unlawfully discriminating against a particular group. The employer could be held liable unless they can show that the policy or practice is job-related and is a business necessity. If the employer can show this, the focus then turns to whether there was a less discriminatory alternative that could be used to meet business objectives, but the employer refused to use it.
Disparate impact discrimination cases are complex and difficult to prove, so it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced employment law attorney.
No one should have to deal with unlawful discrimination at their place of employment. If you feel as though your employer is using discriminatory practices, it is important that you speak to our discrimination lawyers in Chillicothe today. At Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, we can help hold employers liable for discriminatory practices, and pursue remedies, such as front or back pay, that you may have lost as a result of the discrimination. If you have been the victim of discrimination, call us today or contact us online to learn about your legal options.
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