Discrimination in the Workplace
Workplace discrimination and harassment can take many forms. And, while certain forms of misconduct are overt, such as the use of racist insults or the denial of promotion opportunities, others are subtle or even hidden. When a member of a protected class (women and minorities, for example) is treated differently than her peers, this is known as discrimination. If an African-American employee is consistently passed over for a promotion while being the most qualified, he may wish to bring a discrimination lawsuit. This section explains how to spot workplace discrimination and harassment, as well as how to defend your legal rights if you’ve been a victim of workplace discrimination or harassment.
Discrimination in its various forms
Harassment of a sexual nature
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination. “Unwelcome sexual approaches” or similar conduct that create an intimidating or hostile workplace, according to the EEOC. For example, telling a coworker how “hot” they look or making sexually explicit jokes is at the very least improper. It may be grounds for a lawsuit if it creates a hostile atmosphere.
It is termed “quid pro quo” sexual harassment when someone in a position of authority seeks sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or job stability.
Overview of Discrimination
Discrimination in the workplace can take various forms. It occurs when an employee or job applicant is treated unfairly based on color, gender, nationality, religion, age, handicap, or familial status (pregnancy, specifically). A person who possesses one of these traits (for example, a paraplegic veteran) is considered to belong to a “protected class.” Even if an employee is just believed to be a member of a protected class, discrimination might occur.
Discrimination can occur as a result of any of the following actions:
Discrimination Against LGBT People
Despite the progress gays and lesbians have made in the area of marital equality, they are not a protected group. This means that in places without statutory protections, discriminating against LGBT job searchers and workers is entirely permissible. The federal Employment Nondiscrimination Act of 2009, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, has been stalled in Congress.
California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey are among the roughly 20 states that prohibit LGBT discrimination in the workplace.
If you suspect you have been discriminated against at work, contact Yale Pollack Law Office.