Employment discrimination is a consistent problem in the US, even though many states have passed laws to protect against this vice. Under these laws, employees are entitled to protection from unfair treatment. For instance, the RCW Chapter 49.60 protects Washington-based employees from unlawful discrimination. Even so, you may find yourself being discriminated against or harassed at work based on your religion, age, sex, or race. If this sounds like something you’ve dealt with, then an employment discrimination lawyer in Bellevue can help.
What Would Be Considered Discrimination?
Discrimination happens when an individual or organization treats another person differently for reasons of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. But these aren’t the only protected classes that can file a claim for discrimination. If you’re treated differently at work because you’re pregnant or have a disability, then you could be eligible for a discrimination case, as well.
What Are the Most Common Kinds of Discrimination?
A detailed look at employment discrimination in the US shows that disability, race, or gender discrimination are the most common complaints. More than 50% of discrimination cases filed are for retaliation, meaning that an employee reported their issues to human resources, only for the guilty party to retaliate by making their work conditions worse or even termination.
In addition to retaliation, sexual discrimination is another main cause for these types of lawsuits, though the rate could possibly be higher than is currently reported. Some employees don’t realize that they’re facing sex or gender discrimination. What could be considered “banter” or a “joke” could qualify as harassment if it offends the employee or creates a hostile work environment.
Not sure whether you have a case for workplace discrimination? An experienced employment discrimination attorney can consult with you to see if you have a strong case for a lawsuit.
What Are Some Examples of Discrimination in the Workplace?
Workers in Bellevue can face discrimination at any point in the job process, from the first job interview to the day they’re let go. Below are common examples of employment discrimination:
- Hiring: When an applicant is denied an opportunity to work because of their gender, race, or sexual orientation.
- Benefits: Your organization may have dissimilar benefit packages for male and female employees.
- Promotion: An experienced coworker could be overlooked for promotion due to their membership in a protected class.
- Firing: An employee may be fired after revealing their religion, gender, or orientation.
- Pay: When employees of different races, genders, or orientations are not compensated equally, even though they have the same qualifications and are doing the same job.
Additional examples of discrimination in the workplace include:
- Gender discrimination: If employees of a specific gender are paid more or less than employees of another gender who have the same job and experience, then it can be seen as discrimination.
- Age discrimination: Sometimes, employers may refuse to hire employees beyond a certain age. The law protects people above 40 years of age from being discriminated against in the workplace.
- Disability discrimination: Employers are legally required to make any accommodations necessary to ensure their employees with a disability are able to carry out their tasks in the workplace. Discrimination happens when an employer denies benefits, support, or opportunity because of your disability.
- Religious discrimination: Religion is a general term referring to ethical and moral beliefs. If an employer does not make accommodations for your religious practices or even intimidates or restricts your ability to practice your faith, then you have grounds to legally challenge the employer.
- Employer retaliation: If an employer punishes an employee for reporting or participating in a discrimination case, then this is considered employer retaliation. Should filing a harassment or discrimination complaint lead to your demotion or termination, then an employment lawyer can help.
What Constitutes an EEOC Violation?
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established to protect employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Currently, the EEOC guards against the following discrimination situations:
- Pregnancy discrimination: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits the unfair treatment of employees who are pregnant. It also protects employees from unfair treatment because of a medical issue associated with pregnancy.
- Unequal pay: It is an EEOC violation to pay men and women differently if they are doing the same work in the same organization.
- Disability: Private and public organizations are prohibited from discriminating against a person because of their disability. Law requires them to offer support and accommodations.
- Genetic discrimination: It is illegal to deny one employment because of their genetic information.
- Harassment: No one should harass an employee in the workplace because of their color, race, religion, sexual orientation, or age.
Generally, the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state laws make it illegal to offer preferential treatment to people based on their sex, color, religion, national origin, or race. With these protective measures, employees should be able to request an investigation or file a lawsuit without fear of being punished by the affected organizations.
Consult with Experienced Bellevue Employment Discrimination Lawyers
It is your right to work at a business or organization without fear of harassment or discrimination. Discrimination denies an employee of equal opportunities, forcing them to perform in a hostile work environment that could affect their mental health.
If you are experiencing discrimination in your workplace for any reason, get in touch with HKM Employment Attorneys to discuss how we can help. Through an initial consultation, we’ll better understand your case and help you establish next steps for seeking the fair compensation and treatment you deserve.