There are several types of discrimination in the workplace – there shouldn’t be, but there are. When workplace discrimination occurs, it can be blatantly obvious or it can be more subtle… but in either case, it’s important that you know the law is on your side.
The most common types of discrimination in the workplace include those related to:
Harassment is a form of workplace discrimination, as well.
Related: Age discrimination: What every worker over 40 needs to know
If your employer or your fellow employees discriminate against you in the workplace, you could have legal recourse. It’s often best to talk to your supervisor about issues you’re experiencing, or to visit your company’s Human Resources department, but if you don’t get any resolution there, it may be time to talk to an attorney.
Types of Discrimination in the Workplace
Discrimination takes many forms in the workplace. Here, we’ll explore each major type and explain what it means – as well as what it might look like in action. If you have any questions, you should call a Los Angeles and Glendale discrimination attorney as soon as possible.
Age is a protected class, which means employers are not legally allowed to discriminate against someone because of his or her age, provided that the person is over the age of 40. Employers can’t use age as a deciding factor in any aspect of employment, including hiring or firing, benefits or job assignments, pay, promotions or training.
Related: The Age Discrimination Act of 1967
Disability discrimination is prohibited under federal and state law. These laws make it illegal to discriminate against a person for actual or perceived disabilities, and they provide disabled people who are treated unlawfully with legal recourse. A disability doesn’t have to be visible (or physical) in order for an employee to be protected under the law.
Treating a woman unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth is against the law. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating for these reasons in any aspect of employment, including hiring and firing, training, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Related: Pregnancy discrimination laws in California
Race or Color Discrimination
Racial and color discrimination remain serious issues in American workplaces. It’s illegal for employers to use a person’s race in making employment decisions, and if employers are aware of racial discrimination occurring, they must take action to stop it and prevent it from happening in the future. Racial discrimination includes things like people using disparaging language or derogatory terms, people making race-based jokes, or even asking a job applicant about his or her racial identity. It also includes assigning different jobs to people of a certain race, taking adverse action against a worker because of his or her association with a person of a certain race, or disciplining a worker unfairly because of his or her race.
Like all other forms of discrimination against people from protected classes, religious discrimination is illegal. Employers can’t use a person’s religion against him or her while making hiring decisions, during employment, or while deciding who to fire or lay off. In fact, employers are supposed to go out of their way to provide reasonable accommodations for employees’ religious beliefs, such as certain days off for religious holidays or making appropriate job reassignments, as well as making reasonable accommodations for uniforms (such as allowing people to wear headscarves, turbans or yarmulkes when those are tied to a worker’s religious beliefs).
Related: Religious discrimination in the workplace (and why you may need a religious discrimination lawyer)
National Origin Discrimination
National origin discrimination occurs when an employer treats applicants or employees unfavorably because of where they’re from – which can mean a certain country or a certain part of the world, or it can mean because of a person’s ethnicity or the way he or she talks. It also occurs when an employer believes a person is part of a certain ethnicity, even when he or she isn’t, or when a person is married to or otherwise associates with another person of a certain national origin.
Discrimination on the basis of sex, gender or sexual preference is also illegal. Employers in California aren’t allowed to use these factors in employment decisions – and if they do, the victim could be entitled to financial compensation and other remedies.
Related: What is transgender discrimination?
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About the Types of Discrimination in the Workplace?
Call us at 818-230-8380 right now for a free consultation. You’ll talk to a caring, compassionate and experienced employment lawyer who understands what you’re going through – and who knows how to help.