While it may come as a surprise for some that discrimination in the workplace is a problem in the 21st century, 25% of American workers report that they have experienced employment discrimination on several occasions. Workplace discrimination is when an employee endures unfavorable treatment because of their age, sexual orientation, national origin, race, religion, or disability.
Federal laws protect all employees from discrimination in the workplace and retaliation if they file complaints against their employers. Working with an attorney well-versed in employment law like those at HKM Employment Attorneys is key for successful litigation.
What Would be Considered Discrimination?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that it is unlawful for employers or colleagues to discriminate during hiring, promotion, referral, discharge, and any other facet of work-life based on an employee’s religion, color, national origin, sex, or race.
What Are Some Examples of Discrimination in the Workplace?
Some common examples of employment discrimination include:
- Giving preferred candidates an upcoming employment opportunity
- Denying employees their due benefits and compensations
- Paying employees in the same position different wages
- Denying equal use of company facilities
- Preferring certain candidates during promotions, layoffs, or assigning duties
- Discrimination when assigning leave options
- Wrongful termination, unfair dismissal, denial of training opportunities, promotions, and transfers
- Being assigned impossible tasks
- Isolation and exclusion by co-workers
What Are Some Other Examples of Discrimination?
Employment discrimination falls into four main categories:
As the name suggests, this is discrimination in the workplace based on skin color, ethnicity, national origin, or race. Some examples of racial discrimination include ignoring a qualified candidate, assigning an employee an undesirable task, or creating a hostile working environment solely because of their race.
Sex or Gender Discrimination
Sex discrimination is harassment or discrimination based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. When colleagues or employers make consistent, inappropriate remarks about your domestic partner or your gender, then you should reach out to a lawyer to discuss filing a complaint.
Unfair treatment of employees with disabilities is another employment issue that falls under employment discrimination. Employers are legally required to provide accommodations for employees who have a disability that makes their job more difficult. If they refuse, then the wronged Boston worker has a right to file a claim.
Employees above 40 years of age fall under the protected class and cannot be fired, denied a promotion, or coerced to retire because of age and assumed ability levels.
What Constitutes an EEOC Violation?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is tasked with enforcing federal laws that protect employees from discrimination. The agency prohibits an employer from discriminating against workers based on race, national origin, sex, religion, or disability.
If your employer only promotes employees of the same race, religion, or sexual orientation, while denying the same opportunities to those who are equally qualified, then you may be witnessing workplace discrimination. The best way to know if you have a case is to discuss your concerns with a seasoned employment discrimination attorney who can advise you on your next steps.
What is the Most Common Type of Discrimination?
Employment discrimination takes many forms, so it can be difficult to say which is the most common type in the workplace. Sexual harassment continues to be a problem for many workers in America, and although numbers are high, experts suspect that the issue is underreported. An employee may not realize that what they’re experiencing is a form of sexual harassment, especially if their employer passes off their inappropriate comments as “jokes”.
Another common type of discrimination is against those with a temporary or permanent disability, which includes pregnancy or medical conditions that arise as a result of pregnancy.
Why is Discrimination Not Good?
Apart from their homes, employees spend most of their time at work. As such, they strive to succeed and be recognized in their chosen profession for job advancement. However, discrimination has negative effects on employees that they cannot simply leave behind at the workplace. The stress caused by workplace discrimination and harassment can take a toll on employees physically, spiritually, and mentally.
A study by the National Institute for Health showed strong correlations between workplace discrimination and high levels of psychological stress and health-related issues.
Physical effects of employment discrimination include pains, increased prevalence of cardiovascular problems, obesity, high blood pressure, and breast cancer.
Consult with Boston Employment Discrimination Lawyers
If you face any of the forms of discrimination mentioned above, seek legal advice from an employment lawyer before filing a claim. Some federal or state laws may require you to follow certain steps and processes before a lawsuit can be considered valid. An attorney can walk you through the process step-by-step to ensure you receive fair treatment as well as compensation for any damages.
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we offer free consultations for employees facing discrimination in Bostom, Massachusetts. Let us help you seek the justice you deserve.