Anti-discrimination laws state that every person has right to be treated equally. In some countries, these laws are mandatory in employment, consumer transactions and political participation, where people may face discrimination based on sex, race, ethnicity, etc. Workplaces, mostly in states like California, are common places for discrimination acts because they provide employment for people from different cultures, religions and races.
Employment discrimination usually occurs when employers single out employees on the basis of age, race, religion, gender, nationality, disability (mental or physical) or any other reason. Bias in hiring, firing, compensation, assignment, transfer, promotion, layoff, company facilities, training, retirement plans, disability leave, harassment etc., is considered as discrimination at work.
Employment law attorneys focus their practice on cases where a person has been treated unfairly or illegally by his/her employer. As experts in discrimination at work cases, they practice various employment discrimination laws such as:
Age discrimination law prohibits discrimination based on age at workplaces. Nobody can be excluded from participation, denied the benefits, or subjected to discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, which includes hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits etc. It is against the law to harass a person because of his/her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in US protects individuals who are aged 40 years or more.
Racial & religious discrimination
It is considered unlawful to treat employees less fairly than others because of their race, color or ethnic origin. Race discrimination involves treating an employee unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features. Harassing a person because of his/her color or race is also unlawful.
Discriminating a person because of his/her religion or religious beliefs is considered as religious discrimination. The law protects people from religions such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and other religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Offensive remarks about a persons religious beliefs or practices are unlawful.
Disability discrimination occurs when a qualified person with disabilities is treated unfavorably because he/she has a disability. Disability discrimination also arises when an employer treats a person less favorably in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, privileges of employment etc. because he/she has a history of a disability or is believed to have a physical or mental impairment. Harassing an applicant or employee because he/she has a disability is also considered illegal.
Sex discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfavorably because of his/her gender. It is illegal to treat a person unfavorably because of his/her sex when it comes to hiring, firing, promotions, training etc. Harassing a person because of that persons sex is also illegal and is considered as a serious crime. Both victim and the harasser can be either a man or a woman. They can be of the same sex too.
The Equal Pay Act states that men and women should be given equal pay/compensation for equal work at any workplace. According to this law, the work need not be identical, but must be significantly equal. Equal pay law covers all types of pay, which includes basic salary, overtime pay, bonuses, profit sharing, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, travel reimbursements etc.
Despite the passage of many anti-discrimination laws, today discrimination still persists and is more prevalent at workplaces. If you fall into any of the above mentioned categories (victim of discriminatory acts at work), you should seek legal advice to defend your employee rights and to seek justice.