Discrimination is an unfortunate reality in many places of employment. However, it can be difficult for individuals to articulate just what constitutes discrimination on the job. For some, it may be easy to spot instances of discrimination without being able to put into words just what discrimination is.
Discrimination involves treating someone differently because of a personal characteristic. There are many laws that protect workers from different types of discrimination, such as those based on age, race, religion, and gender. This post will provide readers with a brief overview of anti-discrimination laws in the United States and what options workers have when they face discrimination in their own employment situations. This post does not provide any legal advice and any reader with a question or concern about on the job employment discrimination can seek the individual counsel of an employment law attorney in their community.
Discrimination can occur for different reasons
As mentioned, discrimination constitutes different or disparate treatment of an individual or group of people based on a particular characteristic they possess. There are a number of protected classifications of characteristics that state and federal laws identify as being subject to discrimination challenges. Those classifications include but are not limited to:
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- National origin
When a person suffers a negative work experience or treatment because of their inclusion in one of these or other protected classes, they may have a claim for employment discrimination. It is important to note that discrimination can occur before an individual is hired. If discrimination plays a role in the hiring of an employee, the affected individual may also have a claim against the prospective employer.
Dealing with discrimination at work
There is no reason for a worker to suffer from hurtful and discriminatory practices at work. When discrimination happens, it is imperative that the employee takes steps to address it. In some cases, an individual’s employer may have in-house policies and practices to deal with discrimination. When an employee does not receive sufficient support, however, they can choose to turn to an employment law attorney for help. Different discrimination laws have different procedures, and it is important that an affected worker understands their rights when they face discrimination at work.