Employment Law 101: Understanding the Various Forms of Discrimination

Employment discrimination is a problem that many employees face.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was put in place to help combat a wide-range of employment discrimination. While discrimination in the workplace is illegal, it still happens on a regular basis. Learning about the different forms of employment discrimination can help you determine whether your employer has crossed any legal lines.

Types of Discrimination

When an employer treats you differently because of your membership in one of the following protected classes, such treatment may constitute illegal discrimination. The protected classes are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Skin Color
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Nation of Origin
  • Mental or Physical Disability
  • Genetic Information
  • Pregnancy
  • Parenthood
  • Relationship Status

It is important to note that you must be able to prove that your employer is treating you adversely because you are in one or more of the above-listed protected classes. Employers are permitted to, and need to, treat each employee uniquely based on his or her job performance.

What Constitutes Discrimination

It often is difficult for employees to determine whether they are being treated adversely due to their membership in a protected class or some other reason. One example of discrimination would be if an employer always gave the more difficult or undesirable tasks to an employee who immigrated from another country.  Another example would be if the employer failed to promote someone who clearly was qualified just because she was pregnant.

Workplace discrimination doesn’t just happen to employees, however. One of the most common forms of discrimination occurs in the hiring process. If employers refuse to hire workers because of their membership in any of the above-listed protected classes, they are engaging in illegal discrimination and need to be held accountable.

Contact Us with Questions

Employment discrimination is a complex area of law. If you believe you are being discriminated against by an employer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions and schedule a consultation to go over your specific situation so you can make the best decisions possible.

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Arenson, Dittmar & Karban

Arenson, Dittmar & Karban is a leading employment litigation law firm in New York City. We have more than three decades of experience representing employees when they are treated unjustly by their employers. Our team has litigated successfully against multi-billion-dollar corporations and achieved record-breaking results for our clients.