Although many people have heard the phrase, “workplace discrimination,” not everyone recognizes exactly what it is – and what it is not. It goes beyond simply having a boss or colleagues who are unpleasant or mean.
Employment discrimination occurs when either a job applicants or employee is not treated fairly because of his or her disability, gender, age, religion, national origin, skin color/race. It can also involve retaliation against an employee who attempts to assert his or her rights under these laws.
Employer discrimination is illegal under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and it applies to any aspect of employment. That means it’s not just hiring and firing, but can apply to situations involving transfer/shift reassignment, disparate wages, demotion, promotion, benefits, reducing one’s hours or clipping one’s pay.
So for example, a company that systematically only offers white workers certain opportunities that lead to promotion, employees of color may have grounds to take action. Employers who consistently give younger workers the choice assignments, clients or travel opportunities may find themselves justly facing an age discrimination claim by an older employee. Continue reading