Laws Against Discrimination In The Workplace – Do you belong to a protected class, but have you ever been treated differently from colleagues with the same job title, work experience or expertise? Then you may be the victim of discrimination at work. Many people in New Jersey and across the country experience workplace discrimination. More than 84,000 workplace discrimination cases were reported in 2017, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Occupational discrimination, also known as “workplace discrimination”, is unfair treatment of an employee or applicant because of certain characteristics unrelated to the job requirements. Employees can be discriminated against based on race, religion, pregnancy, gender, age, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. Examples of workplace discrimination include sexual harassment of an employee or refusing a promotion due to pregnancy.
Laws Against Discrimination In The Workplace
Federal and state laws, such as New Jersey’s Anti-Discrimination Act, are designed to protect employees from workplace discrimination. These laws make it clear that discrimination in the workplace is illegal and unacceptable. Our employment discrimination lawyers in South Jersey have created this infographic to help you understand the laws that protect your freedom from discrimination in the workplace.
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Our employment discrimination lawyers in South Jersey understand how harmful employment discrimination can be. If you have experienced workplace discrimination, Sidney L. Gold & Associates Employment Discrimination Attorneys in South Jersey have the experience and knowledge of employment law to fight for your rights in the workplace. Call us today at 856-245-5737 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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“We know when we are being marginalized. We know when we’re being treated differently,” said Stephanie Blondell, an associate professor of law and practice and associate director of the Straus Dispute Resolution Institute at Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law.
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“Discrimination is a word we use to describe something unfair, and it’s also a legal concept,” he explains. “Sometimes unfairness can occur in the workplace, but that is not the legal definition of discrimination.”
Discrimination means “any act or omission that adversely affects the privileges and benefits of any person based on his or her race, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability and/or oppression.” affect job applicants in any other way or otherwise.–– According to the National Archives and Records Administration terminology guide “Equal Employment Opportunity”
In other words, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (PDF, 191 KB), it is not only illegal to discriminate against someone, but it is also illegal to retaliate against that person by filing a complaint of discrimination and a criminal complaint. discrimination, or participated in an investigation or lawsuit regarding employment discrimination. Discrimination in the workplace includes the firing, non-hiring or demotion of an employee for reasons unrelated to job performance or qualifications. Federal law also protects against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, or veteran/military service status.
When a complaint is filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency charged with investigating workplace discrimination complaints, the formal process begins when the agency notifies the employer of its benefits and offers mediation programs . The organization also determines whether the payment is reasonable and timely. If the complaint meets the EEOC’s enforcement standards and the complaint is not sent to mediation or resolved through mediation, the agency will request a formal response from the employer to the complaint that initiated the investigation.
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Unfair treatment. Employment decisions may not be based on race, religion, gender (pregnancy, gender, sexual orientation), national origin, disability, age (40 years and older), or genetic information, placing them in a protected category.
Busy. Protected class employees should not experience a work environment where the behavior of others is intimidating, hostile or offensive to otherwise intelligent people.
Refusal to reasonably change workplace. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees who need it because of religious beliefs or disabilities.
Inappropriate questions or requests for clarification. Family history, pregnancy or relationship status cannot be used to make claims, claims or decisions about employment.
Workplace Discrimination Statistics Fy2017
Revenge. An employee or applicant cannot be penalized for filing a complaint of discrimination at work or assisting in proceedings for alleged discrimination at work.
“If people want to sue for discrimination, they can do so under the city’s ordinance because it’s stronger,” Blondell said. “It depends on where you live and your definition of discrimination. They are not always the same in every area.”
Demonstrating discrimination in the workplace can be very difficult. According to the EEOC, more than 481,000 complaints were filed between 2015 and 2020, not including complaints filed with state or local agencies. Of the 70,804 workplace discrimination cases resolved in 2020, only 17.4 percent were resolved in favor of the complainant at the EEOC’s pre-trial hearing.
Complainants often put forward different types of evidence and direct evidence is often harder to find. Workplace Fairness, a non-profit advocacy for workers’ rights, outlines how workers can pursue workplace discrimination without direct evidence. If an employee can demonstrate that he belongs to a protected class appropriate to his position, that the employer has acted against him and that he has been replaced by someone who did not belong to a protected class, this can be considered legitimate. negative activities resulted from their protected class status.
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Complainants can also support their case with circumstantial evidence. Fairness in the workplace encourages employees to focus on a number of questions, including:
If an employee feels they are being discriminated against in the workplace, Blondell recommends taking a step back to fully understand what they can and cannot do. He explained that people react differently to the behavior of others and that it is their prerogative to complain or not.
“I’ve filed thousands of employment cases and I can tell you that people don’t have the same pain threshold for workplace discrimination,” he said. “I think it’s a personal decision, and I think it’s strategically useful to know what the legal rights are before filing a report.”
Witnesses who believe they have been discriminated against are forced to report the crime. Blondell warns that while colleagues can help with the search, witnesses could be marginalized or harassed before reporting.
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Open door policy. Managers who make employees feel empowered to share bad workplace experiences can resolve issues before they escalate and develop an understanding of the relationship between team members.
Provide regular management training on discrimination and harassment. Leaders become better leaders by learning about unacceptable behavior in the workplace and what to do about it.
Internal Dispute Resolution Programs. Organizations can save time and money by avoiding lengthy litigation through an internal workplace dispute resolution process.
“I’ve worked with organizations that have millions of dollars in discrimination claims and settlements from employees and employers,” Blondell said. “What I’ve seen is that when they implement proactive risk management through conflict resolution with senior employees, it makes a difference to the bottom line. They’re removing the claim.”
Discrimination In The Workplace
This proactive approach can also help in other ways. If the employee’s case does not meet the EEOC litigation threshold, the dispute can create problems in the work environment and affect communication and productivity.
“There are many cases that don’t rise to the level of what is legally recognized as discrimination, but you can relax when it comes to improving the relationship,” Blondell said. “I’ve had many cases where people have dismissed allegations of discrimination based on information sharing.”
This article is for informational purposes only. If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should seek legal advice.
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