What Is Workplace Discrimination?

There are several different types of workplace discrimination that can occur in all industries and businesses of various sizes. Defining what is workplace discrimination includes examining the circumstances that have occurred in the workplace and determining if they fit one of the many different types of discrimination.

The process of establishing and proving workplace discrimination can be difficult to do on your own. It is highly recommended to seek help from a qualified workplace discrimination attorney. Your attorney should be familiar with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Equal Pay Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, or the Rehabilitation Act, as amended They will explain your legal rights, what you can do, and how to ensure enforcement by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

Types of Workplace Discrimination

In general, workplace discrimination is discriminating against another based on their age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, genetic information, disability, pregnancy status, and national original. Discrimination can also include harassment in the workplace and equal pay/compensation discrimination. 

  • Age discrimination is looking less favorably at someone because of their age. It also involves making derogatory comments or remarks about someone’s age.
  • Race: Race discrimination is treating another less favorably because they are a certain race. This can also include discrimination based on the color of one’s skin. It can even involve discrimination against someone who is involved with or married to someone of a different race and/or color.
  • Religious discrimination is treating another in an unfavorable manner due to their religious beliefs. This can include discriminating against someone who is married to or involved with others of a different religion.
  • Sexual discrimination includes discriminating based on another’s gender, sexual orientation, or transgender status or because someone associates with others of a certain gender, sexual orientation, or transgender status.
  • Genetic Information: It is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their genetic information, including their family medical history when it comes to any aspect of employment.
  • Disability: The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. Failing to do so could be considered disability discrimination. In addition, discrimination against someone who is considered disabled when it comes to any aspect of their employment is against the law.
  • It is against the law to discriminate against an employee who is pregnant or who intends to become pregnant.
  • National Original: It is against the law to discriminate against someone who is from another part of the country, foreign country, or part of the world due to their ethnic background, the assumption they are of a certain ethnic background, or their accent.

group of students abusing pleasant muslim female student

  • Harassment is a type of discrimination that can create a hostile work environment. Harassment also includes sexual harassment, which is harassing another in a sexual manner. Just like discrimination, there can be several types of harassment in the workplace.
  • Equal Pay/Compensation: It is against the law to discriminate against individuals in regards to their pay or compensation when performing similar job duties and functions. Employers are required to give equal pay for the same types of work for all employees. However, there can be discrepancies in pay/compensation based on the number of years of service, which is not considered discrimination.

What Can I Do if I Am Experiencing Workplace Discrimination?

You can file a complaint with your Federal Agency or the EEOC if you are a private sector employee. However, to do so you will need to provide detailed information and provide any supporting evidence. The processes to file your claim can be very complex, so it is best to consult with a workplace discrimination attorney first.

Your attorney not only can assist with filing with the EEOC but also inform you of other legal rights and actions you can take. If you have further questions about workplace discrimination or filing a claim, call Pitre & Associates, LLC at 202-204-3006 now for a free consultation!