Launching an employment discrimination lawsuit
Developed countries have laws against discrimination in all its forms. While many discrimination laws apply specifically to the workplace, they are designed to govern all public spheres. For example, it may be unlawful for a business owner to refuse products or services to a customer based solely on the customer's race, gender or sexual orientation. In these nations, people accessing education, government or public services have a right to be free from racial discrimination, gender discrimination and any other form of prejudice.
In the United States, four major pieces of legislation cover discrimination laws: the Age Discrimination Act (1975), the Racial Discrimination Act (1975), the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and the Anti-Discrimination Act (1977). They are designed to create a fair and equitable society for people of all ages, races, genders and creeds.
Workplace or employment discrimination takes many forms. Under employment law, it is illegal for any employer or employee to use discriminatory practices in the hiring, management or termination of any individual. Furthermore, employees have the right to be free from discriminatory statements or practices in the execution of their work duties. Sexual harassment and intimidation are also forbidden under discrimination laws.
In the United States, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the government body created to fight discrimination. The forms of discrimination they identify include:
- Age discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Race, color or nation of origin discrimination
- Discrimination against pregnant women
- Religious discrimination
- Gender discrimination
Equal pay and compensation for all employees, regardless of race, age, religion or gender, are also guaranteed under federal laws. Furthermore, genetic discrimination is forbidden; this includes hiring, failing to hire or terminating someone on the basis of a genetic disease, condition or deficiency.
Civil lawsuits may be launched against employers who discriminate in their hiring, job assignment, compensation and promotion policies. Also, retaliation against people who report discrimination is also strictly forbidden under federal law. If you or someone you know is the target of discrimination, be it in the workplace, the public sphere or as a consumer, the EEOC or a civil rights attorney can help you recognize and stand up for your legal rights.