What Is Workplace Discrimination?

Discrimination is a issue that affects every industry. We understand the importance of addressing it.

This article discusses workplace discrimination and how it’s different from harassment. We will go over the seven types of discrimination and provide insight on how to file a complaint.

What Is Discrimination in the Workplace?

Discrimination in the workplace refers to the unfair treatment of employees or job applicants based on specific protected characteristics. These protected characteristics include race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and national origin. Such prejudices can occur during the hiring process, promotion decisions, job assignments, pay agreements, and other employment-related actions.

We strongly advocate for equal treatment and protection of employees’ rights in the workplace. Discrimination undermines the principles of fairness and inclusivity that should be the foundation of any successful organization.

Discrimination vs. Harassment

It’s important to distinguish between discrimination and harassment, as they have distinct meanings and legal implications. Discrimination, as mentioned earlier, involves unfair treatment based on protected characteristics.

Harassment, on the other hand, constitutes any unwelcome conduct that creates a hostile or intimidating work environment. Harassment may be verbal, physical, or psychological, and it can target an individual or a group based on their protected characteristics.

We strive to help clients like you understand the difference between these two problems. We can provide you with the necessary guidance and support to address these issues effectively.

A picture of different ways of saying discrimination.

7 Types of Discrimination in the Workplace

Race

Race discrimination happens when an employee is treated unfavorably due to their race or ethnicity. It’s illegal, and employers must be held accountable for any race-based biases in the workplace.

Gender Identity 

Gender identity discrimination involves treating individuals differently based on their gender identity, such as transgender or non-binary employees. It is essential to create an inclusive work environment that respects and values employees’ gender identities.

Age

Age discrimination affects older workers who may face unfair treatment due to their age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) safeguards employees aged 40 and above from age-related bias in employment decisions.

Disability

Disability discrimination targets individuals with disabilities and may involve denying them reasonable accommodations or subjecting them to unfair treatment due to their disabilities.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when pregnant employees face adverse treatment in the workplace. This can include being denied job opportunities or facing unfair changes in employment status.

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation discrimination affects LGBTQ+ employees, who may experience unequal treatment based on their sexual orientation.

Religious

Religious discrimination involves treating employees differently due to their religious beliefs or practices. Employers must accommodate reasonable religious practices unless it causes undue hardship to the business.

How to File a Complaint

If you believe you are experiencing bias in the workplace in any form, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to address the issue:

Internal Reporting: Employees should report incidents of discrimination to their HR department or supervisors. Internal reporting allows the company to investigate and address the matter promptly.

External Reporting: If internal reporting does not yield satisfactory results, employees can file a complaint with relevant government agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).

Seek Legal Counsel: Consulting with an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer is vital. A lawyer can provide legal advice, assess the validity of the claim, gather evidence, and represent the employee’s interests throughout the process.

A picture of a lawyer helping a client with a discrimination case.

How Does a Lawyer Help Me?

We have expertise in workplace discrimination, we understand the complexities of these type of cases. Here are some ways we can help:

Legal Guidance:

When you’re facing workplace discrimination, it can be challenging to navigate the complex legal landscape on your own. Our team of experienced lawyers specializes in handling cases related to workplace discrimination.

We understand the intricacies of the laws, regulations, and precedents that govern these cases. We provide you with expert legal advice tailored to your situation. With our guidance, you can make informed decisions about how to proceed and address inequity and prejudice in your workplace effectively.

Evidence Gathering:

Building a solid case in a workplace discrimination scenario requires a thorough approach to evidence gathering. Our legal team is skilled at collecting and organizing the necessary evidence to support your claim.

This evidence might include emails, memos, witness testimonies, and other documentation that establishes a pattern of discriminatory behavior.

We work diligently to ensure that every piece of evidence we collect is legally admissible and helps to strengthen your case.

Our expertise in identifying relevant evidence can be a critical factor in presenting a compelling argument that supports your claims of workplace discrimination.

Representation:

Facing your employer or the responsible party in negotiations or legal proceedings can be intimidating. Our lawyers act as your advocates, representing you throughout the entire process.

Whether you’re entering negotiations for a settlement, mediation, or even going to court, we are by your side to present your case persuasively.

Our experience in these matters means that we know how to present evidence, make legal arguments, and counter opposing claims effectively. With our representation, you have a legal professional who is dedicated to pursuing the best possible outcome for you.

Protection against Retaliation:

Filing a claim for workplace discrimination can often lead to concerns about potential retaliation from your employer or colleagues.

Our commitment to protecting your rights extends beyond just addressing the discrimination itself. We understand the legal provisions that protect employees from retaliation for asserting their rights.

We provide strategic advice on how to navigate these sensitive situations and take proactive steps to minimize the chances of retaliation.

With our guidance, you can assert your rights without fear of reprisal, allowing you to focus on achieving a just resolution to the discrimination you’ve experienced.

Conclusion

We are dedicated to justice and equality in the workplace, we acknowledge the importance of addressing workplace discrimination. Such intolerance undermines the fundamental principles of fairness and inclusivity necessary for any organization.

If you believe you are a victim of workplace discrimination, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. Our experienced lawyers are here to support you, fight for your rights, and work toward a more equitable workplace for all.

Contact us to schedule your FREE consultation.

Lázaro Law Group
321 S. Plymouth Ct Suite 1250,
Chicago, IL 60604

Rafael E. Lazaro
Rated by Super Lawyers


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