If you feel like you are facing discrimination at the workplace, you are probably correct as discrimination at the workplace is all too common.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Workers have the right to apply for jobs and to continue to do their job without the fear that they will get judged on personal distinctiveness rather than their professional qualifications and aptitude, as the workers have been protected by California and federal laws. Every employee has the right to equal conduct in the workplace. If you have been a victim of employment discrimination, you may seek legal advice from an employment lawyer about asserting your employment rights.
Under the California Fair Employment And Housing Act (FEHA), if an employer discriminates against an individual or an employee based on protected characteristics is illegal. Some of the protected class characteristics are mentioned below:
- Religious Beliefs;
- National Origin;
- Physical and Mental Disability;
- Marital Status;
- Gender Identity;
- Age (discriminating against someone 40 years or older);
- Sexual Orientation; and
- Military and Veteran status.
Here are some of the most common types of discrimination in the workplace; I have elaborated them for your better understanding:
- Age – The Age Discrimination In Employment Act (ADEA) makes it a violation to discriminate against any current employee or job applicant over the age of 40. Under the law, employers are restricted from firing anyone because of his or her age and subject an employee to negative treatment due to their age.
- Sex Discrimination – California law protects a person’s sexual orientation, for example – heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, asexual, etc. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace that is based on an employee’s gender and sexual orientation. It is also against the law for an employer to pay an employee of the opposite sex different wages for equal work. Employees who are discriminated against based on gender can file a lawsuit against their employer.
- Race, Ethnicity, Religion, and National origin – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that employers will not discriminate against workers based on race or religion. Under federal law, employers are prohibited to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their national origin or perceived ethnic background. When an employer discriminates against an employee or a job applicant based on his or her citizenship or immigration status, it will be considered as a violation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Employees who are discriminated against or harassed based on race or ethnicity can file a lawsuit against their employer for damages.
- Pregnancy or Family Leave – Under federal and state laws employers are prohibited to discriminate against a woman based on pregnancy in regards to hiring, compensation, promotion, or termination. A pregnant woman can take leaves after the birth of the child for a reasonable period, not to exceed four months. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against an employee based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
- Disability Discrimination or Medical Condition – Employers are prohibited to discriminate against an employee or a job applicant based on his or her physical or mental disability, or even a medical condition under the Disability Act and Rehabilitation Act. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with medical conditions. Employees who are discriminated against based on their medical condition can file a lawsuit against their employer.
If your employer is actively engaging in discrimination, it is advised to document everything and discuss your concern with your human resources department. You can also contact an experienced discrimination attorney. Your employer cannot take adverse employment actions against you because you complained of illegal conduct at the workplace.
HR Future Staff Writer