Types of cases:
• Racial Discrimination
• Gender Discrimination
• Age Discrimination
• Disability Discrimination
• Pregnancy Discrimination
• Religious Discrimination
• National Origin Discrimination
• Ancestral Discrimination
• Employer Retaliation
Employment Law: Discrimination
Federal law provides an “alphabet soup” of prohibitions against employment discrimination. Almost all U.S. employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the laws, which prohibit employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, pregnancy, ancestry, national origin, gender, age or disability. State laws may set even stricter limits on discrimination or include more groups (such as gays and lesbians). Employment discrimination is not limited to hiring decisions; it also includes decisions on promotions, raises, segregation, assignments, and harassment. Those who report some kinds of discrimination by their employers are also legally protected against retaliation from their employers for reporting or opposing that discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 allows workers who have been harmed by workplace discrimination to collect monetary damages.
Employees Over Forty Have Employment Discrimination Protection
The Age Discrimination Act (ADEA) was primarily developed to address the rising productivity and affluence amongst older workers who were finding themselves at a disadvantage in efforts to retain employment and especially to regain employment when displaced from jobs. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act amended several sections of the ADEA and, in addition, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 has components protecting against age discrimination. The Act protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.
It was identified that employers had established the setting of arbitrary age limits regardless of potential for job performance becoming common practice, and certain otherwise desirable practices were working to the disadvantage of older persons. It was noted that the incidence of unemployment, especially long-term unemployment with resultant deterioration of skill, morale, and employer acceptability was, relative to the younger ages, high among older workers–and their numbers were growing.
Specifically, under the ADEA, it is unlawful for an employer to:
Refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because an individual’s age.
Limit, segregate, or classify employees in any way, which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect their status as an employee because of such individual’s age.
Reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the Acts.
It is also unlawful for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual because of such individual’s age, or to classify or refer for employment any individual based on such individual’s age.
Labor organizations may not exclude or expel from their membership, or otherwise discriminate against, any individual because of his age. This includes rights to limit, segregate, or classify its membership, or to classify, fail or refuse to refer for employment any individual employment because of such individual’s age.
According to the Act, apprenticeship programs, including joint labor-management apprenticeship programs, may not discriminate based on an individual’s age. Age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid only if they fall within certain specific exceptions under the ADEA or if the EEOC grants a specific exemption.
Employment agencies may not print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any notice or advertisement relating to employment indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination, based on age.
In addition, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA), amended the ADEA to specifically prohibit employers from denying benefits to older employees. It was recognized that the cost of providing certain benefits to older workers is greater than the cost of providing those same benefits to younger workers, and that those greater costs would create a disincentive to hire older workers. Therefore, in limited circumstances, an employer may be permitted to reduce benefits based on age, as long as the cost of providing the reduced benefits to older workers is the same as the cost of providing benefits to younger workers.