Discrimination, in all of its forms, is never “ok” nor something you should try to ignore or “get over.” Being the victim of discrimination, especially when it affects your job and livelihood, can be devastating. If you’re wondering or worried if you might be the victim of discrimination, this legal guide will help explain it. If you need help with suspected discrimination or just have a question, do not hesitate us to schedule an initial consultation (don’t worry — it’s free).
What Kinds of Discrimination Exist?
Race/Color: Treating someone unfavorably because of their race or traits associated with race (also includes if you are married to a person of a certain race)
Ethnicity/National Origin: Treating someone unfavorably because they are from a particular country or are a certain ethnicity
Sex/Gender: Treating someone unfavorably because of that person’s sex
Pregnancy: Treating someone unfavorably because she is pregnant or are affected by pregnancy-related conditions
Religion: Treating someone unfavorably because of their religious beliefs
Age: Treating someone over the age of 40 unfavorably because of their age (there is no protection for favoring an older worker over a younger worker though)
Disabilities: Treating someone unfavorably because they have a history of a disability or if your employer believes you have a physical or mental impairment
Sources of Discrimination
Discrimination happens in every public and private space in society. We can’t stop and prevent all forms of discrimination, but if you are discriminated against by one of these groups, know that you are protected:
Business or Private employers
Local, state, or federal governments
When You Might face Discrimination
Discrimination can happen anytime. And if discrimination happens in the following settings, know that you are protected and have rights:
As an employee
As a job applicant
As a former employee
As a trainee or participant in an apprenticeship program
What to do if You Suspect Discrimination
If you have been the victim of discrimination or if you just suspect discrimination, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself. One valuable resource is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which has local field offices and investigators that are ready and willing to help. But we are here for you too. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced lawyers who you can speak to confidentially and at no charge.