What Is Considered Discrimination In a Georgia Workplace?
Not everyone receives the same treatment or opportunities from their employer. However, when do favoritism and unfair treatment turn into something illegal? What is considered discrimination in the workplace? Employees need to know their legal rights so that they can hold their employers accountable when they face discrimination in the workplace. It is important to understand the difference between unfair or unpleasant policies and treatment that is illegal and discriminatory. Consider speaking with the experienced attorneys from Hall & Lampros at (404) 876 – 8100 to learn about the available options for employees who experience discrimination in the workplace.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
The first step in understanding what is considered discrimination in the workplace is to understand what discrimination looks like and how it appears in the workplace. Discrimination is when someone receives prejudicial treatment or harassment in the workplace based on a protected status. Protected status includes the following:
Gender/Sex: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination and harassment based on gender or sexual orientation. This could apply to promotions, responsibilities, pay rates, harassment or other types of material differing treatment in workplace conditions.
Race: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from their employer discriminating against them based on their race. This has expanded in recent years with the Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 that protects individuals from discrimination based on their genetic information.
Religion: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also protects against discrimination based on religion. Employees also have the right to ask for reasonable accommodations for their religion, as long as they are not an undue burden on the employer.
National Origin: Someone’s national origin is their ethnicity. This type of discrimination is about more than just the individual’s literal home country; it is often based on their ethnicity. These are national, racial, religious, linguistic, and cultural traits that combine to create an ethnicity.
Disability: Employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their mental or physical disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA and ADAA, 42 U.S.C. §12101, et sec.) provides comprehensive protection for prospective and current employees. They also protect employees with previous medical conditions, such as cancer. If an employee has a particular condition, the employer must make reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
Pregnancy: While not a traditional protected class, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination against women who become pregnant. Employers cannot fire a woman for becoming pregnant and must make reasonable accommodations during the pregnancy.
Age: Employers cannot discriminate against future and current employees based on their age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (29 U.S.C. § 621 and 29 U.S.C. §6101) specifically protects individuals over the age of 40. Individuals under the age of 40 are not specifically protected under Federal law. The Georgia Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects individuals between the ages of 40 and 70 and applies to private businesses that employ 20 or more employees.
What Can Employees Do about Discrimination?
There are important deadlines that can be as little as 180 days for filing a charge of discrimination. Employees who have suffered from discrimination therefore should speak with a skilled lawyer from a law firm like Hall & Lampros who will work tirelessly to protect their client’s rights. More information relating to illegal discrimination can be found online through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
H4—-What is Not Employment Discrimination? It is important to differentiate between discrimination based on the protected status of an employee and other types of unfair treatment. In most states, employers are not required to treat all employees the same – so long as the difference in treatment is not based on protected status (described above). An employer for example, can treat employees differently and not violate discrimination laws for many reasons. Although such different treatment often is not fair, it is not illegal. Hall & Lampros lawyers are trained to explain these differences and explain your best options any time you contact us.
Speak With an Attorney About Your Workplace Experiences
So, what is considered discrimination in the workplace? This broad term encompasses a wide range of actions taken against employees by their employers that are illegal under the law. If you have experienced discrimination of any kind based on a protected status in the workplace, you could consider speaking with the experienced Atlanta employment attorneys from Hall & Lampros at (404) 876 – 8100 to learn more about protecting your rights.