Becoming a victim of discrimination in the workplace is one of the most disheartening and damaging experiences an employee can go through. It’s vital for workers to know their rights and what classes are protected under the law so they can recognize discrimination when it happens.
Workplace discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently or unfairly due to certain characteristics. Acts of job-related discrimination include termination, failure to promote, failure to hire, or a change in training or duties.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination due to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and national origin.
If you have experienced the following four types of discrimination in your workplace, contact a law firm with a team of experienced employment attorneys.
1. Racial Discrimination
If an employee is singled out and treated differently due to the inherent personal or physical characteristics linked to their race – like the color of their skin, height, facial features, etc. – it is racial discrimination.
Acts of racial discrimination include passing over a prospective employee during the interview process, unfair termination, or placing the employee under intense scrutiny.
Unfortunately, racial discrimination is rampant in the workplace. In fact, it’s so common that it makes up more than a third of all discrimination claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
2. Religious Discrimination
Discrimination against employees due to their religious beliefs is prohibited under federal and state law. Employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace for an employee’s religion.
This type of discrimination can take many forms. Still, it often manifests as harassment about an employee’s religious beliefs, refusing to allow the employee to work in a client-facing role due to their attire, or retaliating against the employee for taking time off to observe religious holidays.
Reasonable accommodations for an employee based on their religion could be reassigning a job if they face religious conflict or changing their schedule to allow them to attend religious services.
3. Gender Discrimination
Employers are prohibited from treating men and women in similar roles differently or unfairly due to their gender.
Company policies that negatively impact employees because of their gender are also unlawful.
According to The Equal Pay Act of 1963, employers must pay men and women the same amount for the same amount of work. This type of discrimination often sees female employees receiving less pay than their male co-workers in the same roles (a gender pay gap).
4. Sexual Orientation Discrimination
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, as interpreted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, prohibits discrimination against employees due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark judgment in 2020 that states: “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.” Before the Supreme Court landmark judgment, LGBTQ job candidates and employees were protected against discrimination in only half of U.S. states. The judgment extended the protection against discrimination to all LGBTQ employees in America.