Workplace Discrimination You May Witness Everyday

Feb 28, 2017
By Peter Friedmann

Since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, federal laws administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have prohibited discrimination against employees and job applicants based on race, religion, sex, and national origin. Subsequent actions by Congress and lawmakers in Ohio have protected people from discrimination on the basis of age, disability, genetics, pregnancy, and sexual orientation. Employers who violate these laws can be held liable and be forced to compensate the people they treated unfairly and inflicted harm upon.

Despite more than 50 years of legislation and court decisions, workplace discrimination persists in all forms. A recent survey revealed that the most commonly experienced forms of mistreatment at work and when applying for jobs were:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation

The first three seem straightforward, but employers and employees must recognize that race, gender, and age have multiple dimensions. For instance, rejecting a job applicant just for being a man and not considering his ability to perform assigned tasks is just as illegal as discriminating against a female job seeker. Race is literally more than a black-and-white issue, and workers can suffer from a supervisor’s belief that they are too young, just as much as other people can suffer from being deemed too old to hold a given position. Consulting with a workplace discrimination lawyer in Columbus is a must for any central Ohio business or individual who suspects that unfair treatment is possible or actually taking place.

Seeking advice and representation from a Columbus workplace lawyer is particularly important when trying to prevent or respond to discrimination based on sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals have secured increasing numbers of federal and state protections in the workplace since 2010, but transgender people still lack clear coverage under law and in courts.

A final thing to understand is that anyone who witnesses workplace discrimination can and should report the issue to a trusted supervisor and the Human Resources staff for their organization.  Whistleblower protections exist under federal and state law for individuals who do the right thing and call attention to harmful and illegal employment and hiring practices.

You can request a confidential, no-cost, no-obligation meeting with a Columbus workplace discrimination lawyer by calling the Friedmann Firm at 614.610.9755. You can also use this online form to contact us and share some of your concerns.