The Different Types of Discrimination That Happen in the Workplace
Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws many forms of discrimination in hiring and employment. Since that law took effect, lawmakers in Washington, DC, and Columbus, OH, have expanded protections against getting skipped over for job interviews, raises, and promotions. State and federal anti-discrimination laws can also prevent employers from firing workers for reasons unrelated to performance. If we determine a legal violation is likely, these laws allow workers to sue for damages when co-workers and/or managers harass and abuse them as well.
Currently, companies and managers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants and employees based on race and skin color, national origin and ethnicity, sex or gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, pregnancy, and military service.
The Columbus-based discrimination attorneys with the Friedmann Firm briefly discuss each type of workplace discrimination below. Anyone who believes they have been a victim of workplace discrimination in Ohio is invited to contact us online or schedule a consultation by calling (614) 610-9755.
Race or Skin Color
Many people view racial discrimination in the workplace as a literal black-and-white issue. In reality, any person can lose job opportunities or be subjected to insults and mistreatment because of the color of his or her skin. When a company does not comply with equal employment opportunity regulations, fails to enforce policies that prohibit racism, or does not allow employees of all races to take advantage of benefits and training, it is illegally discriminating.
In all cases involving discrimination, a company and its managers have the burden of proving that actions were taken for nondiscriminatory reasons.
National Origin or Ethnicity
Employers cannot rely on stereotypes when making decisions regarding hiring, assigning responsibilities, awarding raises and promotions, or terminations. Ideas about certain groups’ intelligence, work ethic, temperament, and trustworthiness unfortunately persist. Any company that acts or allows its staff members to act according to negative stereotypes about people from particular countries and ethnic groups is guilty of workplace discrimination.
Sex or Gender
Sex and gender discrimination remain serious problems, especially when it comes to offering equal pay for equal work and having senior staff members sexually harass subordinates. Examples of this type of discrimination include derogatory or sexually aggressive comments about an employee’s appearance; unwanted touching, assaults, or making career opportunities contingent on sexual favors; and setting lower pay rates for women who hold the same positions as men.
One of the most important things to understand about sex- and gender-based discrimination is that both men and women can experience discrimination based on their sex (i.e., body) and gender (i.e., actions thought of as male and female). Another is that federal and state laws guarantee only opportunities. For instance, a woman must be allowed to compete for a job that requires a certain amount of physical strength. As long as the assessment of job-related strength is fairly designed, administered, and judged, a woman can be disqualified for failing that test, just as a man could be if he failed the test.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers enjoy employment protections under the bans on sex and gender discrimination spelled out in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Ohio’s Civil Rights Commission and Ohio case law closely follow the lead of federal regulators and judges on these issues, but consulting with a workplace discrimination lawyer in Columbus before filing a legal action related to LGBT discrimination in state court is wise.
Only organizations with explicitly religious missions can make holding and practicing certain religious beliefs a condition of employment. Also, the religious exemption from anti-discrimination employment laws usually only applies to specific positions. For instance, a Christian church can limit its search for ministers to Christian clergy, but a Catholic hospital cannot bar non-Catholics from working as doctors, nurses, and staff.
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination against individuals older than 40. Companies and industries can enforce the retirement age for safety reasons, but no organization can act on the stereotype that a person is “too old” to do almost any job.
The Americans with Disability Act, or ADA, requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for people who have the skills and knowledge to do a job. Examples of reasonable accommodations include wheelchair ramps, oversized keyboards, computer screens, and slightly redesigned equipment that permits use by people who lack full use of all four limbs. Extra time, instruction, and supervision can also be required for a person with a brain injury or intellectual limitation.
Managers cannot automatically reassign women who become pregnant, nor can women be terminated for taking FMLA leave due to pregnancy. Other provisions of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protect women from being fired while on leave for childbirth and grant women the right to continue accruing pay and other benefits while dealing with medical issues related to their pregnancy.
Passed only in 2008, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prevents employers from taking any adverse employment action based on what it knows about an employee’s genetic conditions. For instance, a person with a family history of cancer cannot be denied insurance coverage that is available to other co-workers.
Until the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) became law in 1994, employers could hire behind workers called to active duty. That is, keeping one’s commitment as a military reservist or member of the National Guard could cost a person his or her civilian job. USERRA also preserves an active duty military member’s ability to continue accruing seniority at their civilian job while on active duty.
Any type of discrimination listed above merits a call to a Columbus workplace discrimination lawyer.
Rachel was absolutely amazing. As an attorney she really took the time to really listen to my concerns. She was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. The outcome was favorable on my behalf and I appreciate her efforts to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend her and the Friedmann firm to represent me if ever needed in future.
Working with Rachel Sabo from Friedmann Firm was absolutely amazing! She upholds integrity, honesty and without a doubt fights for what is right! Rachel was extremely transparent and real! Please don’t let wrong be right, Rachel will strive to advocate and put her whole heart in obtaining resolve in your situation! What an absolute blessing, she won my case in less than 1 week💪
My experience with the Friedmann Firm is an absolute 5 stars. From my very first call with Karen, to all of my communication with Rachel, everything exceeded all of my expectations. Rachel and Karen were so caring and understanding in a very sensitive situation. They responded immediately to any questions or concerns I had. I would HIGHLY recommend the Friedmann Firm. They are caring, professional, understanding, and I would trust them with any issue I have in the future.
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm were fantastic to work with. The thought of needing an employment lawyer was scary for me, it was confusing and complex. But Rachel listened, asked questions and took time to really understand me and my priorities. I felt calm, supported and excited for the first time in weeks after talking to her!! We worked together to review everything, set expectations and meet my priorities! Thanks Rachel and team for all your work!!!
Rachel Friedmann of the Friedman Firm was my attorney for a very recent legal matter. I would highly recommend Rachel based on her legal knowledge, her honest appraisal of the matter and expected outcomes, her open communication and timely responses to my questions and the matter itself, and her steadfastness in dealing with the opposing counsel until a final agreement was reached.
Rachel and her staff went over and above the call of duty to help me achieve fiscal resolution to my legal issue. She wasn’t always available to talk but was always responsive via text and email when in court out of the office and even on vacation. I feel she earned her percentage cut.
Couldn’t be happier with the representation I received from Jamie Bailey on my civil litigation case. She worked tirelessly to resolve the case and in the end negotiated a fair settlement on my behalf. I would highly recommend her to anyone! Thanks for everything Friedman law firm.
Friedman Firm was a great help in a difficult time in my life. They went above and beyond to get me back on track. Rachel was so good to work with and is extremely knowledgeable about the law and employment rights. Can't thank them enough for all there hard work. Highly recommend them to anyone.
The Friedmann Firm (specifically Pete Friedmann) represented me through what seemed like a never ending employment discrimination suit. The suit was filed just before Covid shut everything down in 2020. Add to that a former employer who refused to admit fault. In spite of all of that, Pete stood resolute in his representation of me and working for the best outcome for me. We ended up settling prior to trial and I was more than satisfied with the results. Pete was always available to answer questions and reassure me throughout this process. I highly recommend The Friedmann Firm!
Pete Friedmann and his firm are fantastic. He represented me for more than a year going through a suit with a previous employer. He walked me through every step of the process and was always quick to respond to any questions I had. My settlement came in and we parted ways with both sides being pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend the Friedmann firm and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future if the need arose. Thank you, Pete!
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm have been amazing to work with. Rachel was very helpful, listened to our concerns and took our case. She communicated well throughout and really worked for us. We were very well represented!
I loved working with The Friedmann Firm. Rachel and Jamie are exceptional lawyers and were diligent in reviewing my case and letting me know of my options. Jamie was extremely thorough and handled even the smallest details of my case with ease. The entire process was seamless and they were always quick to respond to emails and calls. I would definitely recommend working with The Friedmann Firm.
I would recommend Rachel Sabo Friedmann and the Friedmann firm for severance negotiations. Rachel was always available and responsive and made an effort to ensure I was updated on every step of the process. Her diligent efforts produced a prompt resolution and we are very happy with the results!