Is it workplace discrimination?

On behalf of Fox & Fox, S.C.

Workplace discrimination can be difficult to detect. These actions are often subtle and can be deeply ingrained in organizational culture.

If you feel that your employer has treated you unfairly because of your gender, race, religion or disability, review the types of job discrimination recognized by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to understand whether you may be eligible for legal damages.

Age discrimination

Federal laws protect workers older than 40 from age discrimination. This category includes unfair treatment based on your age, including discriminatory treatment when it comes to promotions, training, benefits, salary and any other aspect of employment. Even joking comments about your age in the workplace could be harassment.

Disability discrimination

The law requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities if they are able to do so without undue hardship. For example, your employer may approve you for an alternative work assignment if you are unable to spend long hours on your feet. Failure to make reasonable accommodations can be discrimination. If you previously had a medical condition or disability, you have protection from discrimination upon your return to work.

Discrimination based on nationality

It is illegal to harass or discriminate against an employee based on his or her national origin. In addition to unfair treatment, this could constitute jokes about your background, accent, appearance or other aspects of your nationality. This category also includes discrimination based on your immigration or citizenship status in the U.S.

Pregnancy discrimination

If your employer treated you differently than other employees during your pregnancy, you could have a successful discrimination lawsuit. Pregnant women must receive the same accommodations given to any other employee who has a temporary disability, whether that means a modified break schedule or permission to sit when other employees must stand.

In addition to these types of discrimination, it is also illegal to treat employees unfavorably based on race, religion or gender, as well as in retaliation for reporting discrimination. If you have suffered unfair treatment or harassment, document these instances and speak with a qualified employment attorney.

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