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Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination in the workplace refers to unfair or prejudicial treatment of employees based on certain characteristics, often referred to as "protected characteristics." These characteristics are typically protected by law, and discrimination occurs when an employer makes decisions about hiring, firing, promoting, or providing other employment-related opportunities or benefits based on these characteristics rather than on an individual's qualifications or performance.

Common protected characteristics that are subject to anti-discrimination laws may include:

  1. Race or Ethnicity: Treating individuals differently based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin.
  2. Gender: Discriminating based on an individual's sex or gender, including pregnancy-related discrimination.
  3. Age: Treating individuals less favorably due to their age, often protected for individuals who are 40 years or older.
  4. Disability: Discriminating against individuals with disabilities, including failure to provide reasonable accommodations.
  5. Religion: Treating individuals differently based on their religious beliefs or practices.
  6. Sexual Orientation: Discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.
  7. Marital Status: Treating individuals differently based on their marital status.
  8. Military Service: Discriminating against individuals due to their military service or veteran status.
  9. Pregnancy: Treating pregnant employees less favorably, which is often covered by anti-discrimination laws.
  10. Genetic Information: Discrimination based on an individual's genetic information.

Workplace discrimination can manifest in various forms, including hiring practices, promotions, job assignments, compensation, and termination decisions. Employers are typically prohibited from making employment decisions based on these protected characteristics, and there are laws in place to address and prevent workplace discrimination.

It's important to note that anti-discrimination laws vary by jurisdiction. If you have are interested in ensuring your company is compliant with discrimination laws, give us a call at (605) 275-5665.