Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination in the workplace can take place in one or more ways; bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation and various types of harassment and it occurs via discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability or age. Discrimination in the workplace is protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination Act 1967, Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects an employee from being hired, fired, compensated, transfer, promoted, laid off, recalled, recruited, tested, trained, paid or have benefits withheld based on discrimination of the employer. Employers are not also allowed to harass their employees based on the basis of their race, sex, color, religion, education, or national origin. Discrimination in the workplace still continues to this day but the number of cases continues to decline because of all of the laws mentioned earlier to protect employees and employers from discrimination. Harassment at the workplace falls under the jurisdiction of discrimination in the workplace and it is legally banned by various laws. Harassment doesn't just have to include employers to employees but also employees to employers and co-worker to co-worker. The full list of prohibitions against discrimination includes:

  • Race or color
  • Ethnicity/National origin
  • Sex or gender
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion or creed
  • Political affiliation
  • Language abilities
  • Citizenship
  • Disability (physical, mental, or emotional)
  • Medical conditions (AIDS or other diseases)
  • Age
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Marital status
  • Military Veteran status
  • Military discharge status or anticipated military deployment

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC allows employees the opportunity to file workplace discrimination charges against co-workers or employers for discrimination in the workplace. When an employee files civil rights claims they must provide their name, address, and telephone number as well as that same information for the person the complaint is naming as the defendant. The civil rights complaint form should also include a description of the discrimination incident(s) or dates that coincide with the discrimination. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, civil rights cases against an employer for discrimination at the workplace must be filed within the first 180 days after the incident originally took place. If the charge is covered by state and local anti-discrimination law then the period for filing the employment discrimination cases can be extended to 300 days. The Commission consists of:

Five commissions appointed by the President and approved by the Senate (five year terms)

A General Counsel (four year terms)

A Chair designated by the President

A Vice-Chair designated by the President

The chair of the commission acts as the chief executive officer and the general counsel has the responsibility of carrying out the litigation that the Commission passes into law regarding employment discrimination. Discrimination in the workplace can lead to wrongful termination, reduced pay, being reassigned to a lesser job, not being rewarded a deserved promotion, not being given benefits, and much more.

If you feel you have been discriminated against or have questions about discrimination in the workplace, contact a lawyer who can help.

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