It is common knowledge that discrimination is illegal in the workplace. However, many workers remain confused in regard to what this means, as well as whether they have in fact been a victim to discrimination.
Discrimination can take many forms, and this is why it can be difficult to define. However, the word itself is derived from the term "to distinguish." Therefore, the general meaning of discrimination is to treat a person differently from others based on an unfair reason. It is always better when all workers are treated equally and fairly by their employers.
What types of characteristics are protected from discrimination?
In order to make the law simpler and more enforceable, certain characteristics have been established as protected from discrimination. There must be a underlying reason for why you believe that you were discriminated against. One of these reasons must be nationality, gender, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity or color. Therefore, if you were discriminated against because you practice a certain faith, are pregnant or are African American, for example, this always counts as unlawful discrimination.
In what places am I protected from discrimination according to federal law?
The main emphasis on anti-discrimination is in the workplace. This is because the ability to have a job and earn a living without facing discrimination is extremely important. Other places where such behavior is enforced is in education, health care, government services, transportation and housing, to name a few.
If you believe that you have become victim to discrimination, it is important to take action immediately.
Source: FindLaw, "What is Discrimination?," accessed March 29, 2018