What to Do If You Have Been Discriminated Against on The Job – 2024 Guide

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We’ve all heard of discrimination when it comes to not being hired for a particular job, but did you know the term extends far beyond just hiring someone? When an employer makes hiring, firing, promotion, and compensation decisions on any basis except for ability and job performance, there may be a form of employment discrimination involved.

Every state in America prohibits employers from discriminating against persons (employees and potential employees) on the basis of race, age, color, sex/gender, national origin, disability, religion, and pregnancy. In certain states and cities, including New Jersey and Philadelphia, sexual orientation is also included. In fact, on June 15, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a case that workplace discrimination because of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity — including being transgender — is unlawful discrimination “because of sex” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Not only is discrimination illegal but employers can also be held liable for sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace and for not granting Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) when required for leave such as leave for caring for a new baby or leave requested for an employee’s serious health condition or for the employee to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition

Not only is discrimination illegal but employers can also be held liable for sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace and for not granting Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) when required. According to The Pearce Law Firm, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C, to be eligible for family and medical leave, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to the request for leave.

Discrimination comes in many forms, whether it is being passed up on a promotion because you are a woman, being forced into early retirement due to your age, not being hired because you are in a wheelchair or have some other physical disability, or being given more menial tasks because of the color of your skin or the accent of your voice. No matter what form the discrimination takes shape, it can be demoralizing and make people feel inadequate and less than in their place of work. 

Where to Turn?

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When you are dealing with discrimination in the workplace it is important to seek help. Hopefully, there is a supervisor or other person of authority you can turn to, to discuss the wrongful actions set against you. When this is the case, they should document your situation and all aspects of it to be able to carry out a full investigation of the validity of your concerns. If your place of business has an HR department it can help to speak with one of their representatives as they should be well versed in procedures to follow in reporting discrimination.

Unfortunately, these options are not always available to people. Sometimes you can feel trapped in a job you need but are not being treated fairly at. And occasionally you can even feel bullied into silence. This behavior is reprehensible and needs to be stopped. When there seems to be nowhere to turn within your workplace for help, it can be worthwhile to speak with a qualified work discrimination lawyer in your area. 

Employment discrimination typically fall into these categories:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Age Discrimination and/or Harassment
  • Gender/Sex Discrimination and or Harassment
  • Race Discrimination and or Harassment
  • Disability Discrimination
  • National Origin Discrimination or Harassment
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All of these types of employment discrimination are illegal, but discrimination cases can be challenging to prove. However, an experienced employment discrimination lawyer understands that discrimination can be subtle and covert (rather than overt) and knows how to gather evidence in these matters, present a compelling case and getting you the compensation you deserve.

If your rights have been violated by an employer or potential employer, and/or if you have been treated unfairly, harassed, discriminated against, or unfairly passed over for employment, promotion, or fair compensation, there is an entire alphabet soup of employment laws on your side (ADA, ADEA, NJFLA, FMLA, PHRA, EPA, Title VII, etc.). Not only will a lawyer be able to stop the discrimination you’ve been suffering through, they can also fight for you to receive compensation for loss of wages, family leave, pay scale discrepancies, and more.

A workplace discrimination lawyer who takes an aggressive approach to violations of employment law, like Edith Pearce, will be able to get the best possible results for his or her clients. They will have up-to-the-minute knowledge of the rapidly changing interpretations of employment law, which is absolutely critical to your case, as is a swift investigation, early trial posturing, and vigorous pursuit.

Employment Discrimination Is Illegal and Wrong

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Employers who discriminate must be stopped; and employees who have been victims of discrimination should be compensated. 

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:

  • Hiring and firing;
  • Compensation, assignment, or classification of employees;
  • Transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall;
  • Job advertisements;
  • Recruitment;
  • Testing;
  • Use of company facilities;
  • Training and apprenticeship programs;
  • Fringe benefits;
  • Pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or
  • Other terms and conditions of employment.
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Discriminatory practices under these laws also include:

  • Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age;
  • Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices;
  • Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities;
  • Denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability.

Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.

If you feel your rights have been violated by an employer or potential employer it is important to reach out to a qualified workplace discrimination attorney in your area. They can speak with you about your situation and work diligently to arrive at a timely settlement or proceed to trial to obtain the compensation you deserve.