Being an employee, you have the right to expect your work environment to be free from discriminatory and illegal harassing behavior and comments. Whether the harassment or discrimination is based on your disability, religion, age, pregnancy, sex (including physicality, stereotypes, or gender-based attributes), ethnic background (including appearance, customs, ethnic attributes like appearance, accent), race, etc. Employers are legally obligated to keep the workplace free from these offensive behaviors and actions.
Types of Discrimination
Under Section 44-1009 of the Kansas Statutes, discrimination can take a number of different forms. The forms of discrimination the law prohibits are called protected criteria. The following are examples of categories that fall within this protected criteria under both state and federal guidelines:
- Disability: This is discrimination based on a person’s physical incapacity. In this type of discrimination, the affected person is able to work with slight accommodation, but the employer either fires or demotes the employee.
- Religion: This occurs when the employer does not take note of an employee’s religious difference when making workplace decisions. It can also occur if there is a culture of animosity towards the employee’s religion.
- Age: This happens when there is unequal treatment based on the age of employees. The only time when age matters is if it is a pointer for experience on the job.
- Pregnancy/childbirth: This type of discrimination occurs when the employer does not accommodate workers during pregnancy. It can also mean that there is a culture of discrimination against women of childbearing age.
- Sex: This usually applies to women, but it goes both ways. It can be in the form of sexual harassment or not giving women equal pay for work equal to their male counterparts.
For you to challenge a decision of adverse employment by your employer, you must disclose that it was one or more of these criteria that contributed to your employer’s decision.
Examples of Discriminatory Actions
Aside from discriminatory firing, the behavior of a discriminatory employer could take any of these forms:
- Refusal to provide leave for pregnancy or medical condition
- Forcing employees to perform tasks or duties not in line with their moral or religious stands
- Poor performance evaluations or wage reductions
- Disciplinary action taken against a person in a class that is protected but not taken against other employees
- Demoting an employee on the basis of gender discrimination, racial discrimination or discrimination against a protected class
- The denial of promotion on the basis of gender discrimination, racial discrimination or discrimination against a protected class
Employers must prevent and prohibit inconsistent and unfair treatment of employees on the basis of one or more of the protected criteria mentioned above.
If you are of the belief that decisions were made by your employer that affected you adversely, and they were premised partly or wholly on one of the criteria mentioned above, you should contact the Kansas City office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision and get in touch with a discrimination lawyer.
A discrimination lawyer can come in handy when you feel discriminated against at your place of work. The lawyer will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. You have the right to enjoy benefits as an employee of an organization, especially if other employees are enjoying such benefits.
Suspect You Have Been the Victim of Employment Discrimination? Contact a Kansas City Employment Discrimination Attorney
HKM Employment Attorneys are knowledgeable and skilled attorneys with a thorough understanding of Kansas employment law, including various state and federal anti-discrimination statutes and regulations. Call today to learn more about how HKM Employment Attorneys LLP can assist you.