Discrimination and harassment are two types of claims that frequently come up in relation a work environment. These terms can refer to a broad range of conduct and as such, may arise in many different kinds of workplace scenarios.
The following article provides an extensive list of many areas of the law that could potentially assist someone who has a discrimination or harassment question, and might be able to help them to determine whether or not they should seek further legal advice from an attorney.
What is Age Discrimination?
A claim for age discrimination might arise when an employer treats an individual, who is otherwise qualified for the job, differently than their co-workers due to their age. This type of behavior is illegal under both state and federal laws.
The primary federal law that applies to these cases is known as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). The main goal of the ADEA is to prevent employers from using discriminatory tactics in the process of recruiting, hiring, firing, or promoting of prospective, new, current, or former employees, based on age requirements.
It most often comes up during cases where the plaintiff is an individual over 40 and is facing age discrimination from either their current or a future employer.
This is only one example of a law that applies to discrimination claims. The following are links to more article that may provide further information about an age discrimination matter:
- Proving and Exceptions to Age Discrimination
- Examples of Age Discrimination at the Office
- Filing a Federal Age Discrimination Claim; and
- Remedies Available for an Age Discrimination Claim
What Anti-Discrimination Laws Protect People with Disabilities?
The major law that protects people with disabilities against discrimination is called the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). It applies to both public and private employers, and the employment process.
Additionally, the ADA is a federal law that governs civil rights for individuals with disabilities and provides those with disabilities an equal opportunity in employment, to use transportation, to be given housing, and have certain public accommodations.
Other laws that apply as a result of the ADA include: The Architectural Barriers Act, and Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (also known as the “Fair Housing Act”).
To learn more about these laws and what is involved in a claim for discrimination against an individual who has disabilities, visit the following links:
- Defining Disability Under the Rehabilitation Act;
- The Americans with Disabilities Act;
- Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA; and
- Adult Children with Disabilities and Social Security.
What is Employment Discrimination?
As previously mentioned, employment discrimination claims cover a wide variety of topics. They might be based on a person’s age, sex, gender, religion, or disability. An employment discrimination lawsuit may be pursued under either state or federal laws.
Depending on the claim, some of the laws already discussed might apply. Others may be brought under specific state statutes. One of the most significant laws that applies to these claims, however, is entitled, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Title VII covers all of the examples of employment discrimination and then some.
To learn additional information about the laws that may apply in an employment discrimination suit, please click on the following articles:
- Defining Employment Discrimination;
- Federal Employment Discrimination Claims;
- Employment Discrimination and Employer Retaliation; and
- Federal Caps on Employment Discrimination Damages.
What Rights Does the LGBT Community Have Under Discrimination Laws?
It is against the law for employers to discriminate or harass someone on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation. In addition to Title VII and the majority of state laws, there are agencies dedicated to protecting members of the LGBT community from discrimination and harassment.
One example of such an agency is called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). The EEOC is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws that affect individuals during the hiring process.
Here are some additional articles that may help answer more questions about this topic:
- Same Sex Harassment Issues in the Workplace;
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination; and
- Civil Right Protections Afforded for Same Sex Marriages.>
What is Gender and Sex Discrimination?
Although some of these claims may fall under the above section, there are other situations that may arise where an employer treats a person differently because of their sex or gender. These laws are meant to protect all individuals, and do not only focus on the LGBT community.
For example, an employer cannot limit their job opportunities to only male workers. Their postings must provide sex-neutral descriptions and so must their hiring process.
Laws such as Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, and various state laws are typically the basis of these types of claims.
For a further discussion on gender and sex discrimination claims, continue reading by visiting the following links:
- Defining Gender and Sex Discrimination;
- Violation of the Equal Pay Act;
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act; and
- Sexual Harassment Lawsuits.
How Do Defamation Claims Affect Employment Laws?
Defamation is a section of law that tries to remedy a scenario where someone else’s words caused damage to another individual’s livelihood and/or reputation. Hence, why it may show up in an employment lawsuit.
The most common scenarios where defamation may occur is when an employer contacts a job reference, terminates an employee, or if an employee makes a false statement about a company or product.
Depending on the individuals and facts involved in the matter, defamation claims can sometimes be brought according to state laws, or under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
To learn more about defamation claims in the workplace, the following articles provide some good starting points:
What Laws Cover Drug Testing in the Workplace?
The federal government requires some of its employees to be tested regularly for drugs. Although private employers normally do not require drug testing, they can choose to screen workers if they want.
The major law that applies to federal works is known as the “Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.” This ensures that the work environment remains drug free for safety reasons, and could potentially prevent an individual from receiving a job that requires compliance with it.
Other issues that arise in the workplace regarding drug tests can be found in the following articles:
- Physical and Drug Tests in the Workplace;
- Drug Tests and Refusals;
- Medical Exams; and
- Lie Detector Tests.
What is Race or Nationality Discrimination?
Both Title VII and EEOC are heavily enforced to protect against discrimination for reasons based on race, origin, or nationality. States also have statutes in place to protect people from being discriminated against by employers because of their race or nationality.
To read more about how to bring a claim for race and nationality discriminatory behavior in the workplace, visit the following links for further information:
- Race, Origin, and Nationality Discrimination Claims; and
- Remedies and Protections Against Racial Bias.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Although sexual harassment laws were briefly touched upon in some of the above sections, the following articles provide a much more in-depth discussion of the types of laws that apply and claims that an individual can bring when faced with a situation that involves sexual harassment:
- Behavior Considered Sexual Harassment;
- Different Types of Sexual Harassment;
- Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment; and
- Rights of Employers Accused of Sexual Harassment.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Discrimination and Harassment Laws?
If you think you have been the subject of employment discrimination or harassment, then you should consider speaking with an experienced harassment lawyer.
A lawyer who has experience with discrimination and harassment lawsuits will be able to determine whether you have a claim, what rights you have, and how to protect those rights.
Additionally, a lawyer can also help you to prepare your case, provide representation in court on your behalf, and assist you in recovering any potential damages for any harms that you may have suffered.