Workplace discrimination occurs when employers treat employees less favorably than others in their material working conditions based on certain characteristics. Employers might refuse to hire qualified candidates, deny deserving individuals promotions, demote employees without any apparent reason, and even terminate workers. Unfortunately, unlawful workplace discrimination takes many forms. All employees should understand that they have rights that protect them from unlawful workplace discrimination. A Fairfield County workplace discrimination lawyer can ensure those rights are upheld and help workers make things right when they face any of the forms of discrimination listed below.
No one should be denied opportunities based on their age. People age 40 and older are often the employees who face this type of discrimination. They may be denied employment opportunities, lose out on promotions, or their boss may make statements indicating age is a problem such as, “Maybe you should start thinking about retirement. . . The Company is going in a different direction and you’re just not a good fit anymore. It doesn’t make sense to promote you when you’ll be retiring soon anyway.” There are laws that protect against this type of discrimination, such as The Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Employees can use this Act along with the help of an experienced attorney to take a stand against this form of discrimination.
Sadly, racial discrimination is still very prominent, in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from pervasive or severe racial slurs and jokes, and other forms of discrimination in the workplace. When employers or coworkers engage in racial discrimination, victims can take legal action.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also ensures that individuals are free to hold sincerely held religious beliefs without facing discrimination. Within the workplace, this means that employees are allowed to use breaks to pray, wear head coverings such as hijabs and other religious symbols, and otherwise be free to practice their religion unless it creates an undue hardship on the business. When employees are not granted these rights, an attorney can help hold their employer accountable.
Employers sometimes discriminate against employees based on gender and pregnancy Discrimination based on these characteristics are also protected by law. Although anyone can be discriminated against based on gender, this type of discrimination typically happens more to women. Many employers discriminate against pregnant women because they assume they will need to take time off to care for their infant and fear that even when they return, their minds will not be fully on their work. All of these fears are unfounded, however, and when employers act on them, it is a violation of the employee’s rights.
Just as people cannot be discriminated against based on their gender, employers should not discriminate against someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, this form of discrimination is also common. Currently, Title VII federal anti-discrimination laws do not specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, depending on the circumstances employees may be able to assert a Title VII discrimination claim based on sex. Some counties, cities and municipalities have laws that provide protection against this type of discrimination as well.
Many times, people in the military are required or choose to leave their jobs to serve their country. Upon their return, many of these troops find it difficult to get their job back or find other employment. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 protects “uniformed services,” which include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these services. Servicemen and women are protected from discrimination based on military service.
There are federal and state laws that protect employees from discrimination based on a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)prohibits discrimination based on a qualifying disability. Sometimes, this may overlap with the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), which allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every 12 months for their own serious illness or to care for a close family member with a serious illness, if they meet certain requirements and their employer is covered by the FMLA. These Acts protect employees from discrimination and allow them to receive medical treatment for disabilities and illnesses without losing their jobs.
No one should have to face discrimination in the workplace. When they do, our Fairfield County workplace discrimination lawyers at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC are here to help. If you have been discriminated against, we can help hold your employer accountable, help you obtain the compensation you are legally entitled to receive, or even help you get your job back. Call us today or contact us online to discuss your potential case with one of our attorneys.
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