Discrimination in the Work Place

A pretty blonde businesswoman thinkingMany people have experienced discrimination in the workplace.  Some feel race or sex holds them back from certain jobs or promotions.  Certain professions have historically been thought of as male oriented professions; such as police and firemen.  Females have increasingly been moving through the ranks of both professions.  Even though there are laws against discrimination in the workplace, employees still feel it is taking place.   Let’s define some of the discrimination laws in place today.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  This ensures no one can be denied employment based on any of these factors.  Women cannot be denied careers in careers that males previously dominated if they are qualified to do the work.  People with different religions cannot be denied employment based on that if they are qualified.  Race cannot be a determinant in being hired if the person is qualified. 

Another type of discrimination against employees that is prohibited is pay.  Employees doing the same work must be compensated at the same rate of pay.  Female firefighters must receive the same pay as a male firefighter.  Male office clerks must receive the same pay as a female.   This is law per the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

Age is another form of discrimination in the workplace that is protected by law.  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ensures those people over 40 years of age are not discriminated against.  Being someone with a handicap is also addressed in discrimination laws.  Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.  This Act covers state, local government and private employers.  Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 address discrimination of disabled persons with the Federal government.  Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits employment discrimination against a person because of genetic information regarding the employee or potential employee.

It is evident that discrimination is not to be tolerated in the workplace.  Employment opportunities are not to be withheld to a person based on certain criteria, provided that person is qualified to perform the job. It is not discrimination if the applicant is not hired due to not being capable to do the job.   If at any time there is a question of discrimination, it is always advisable to consult with a labor attorney.

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